Equity Bank is positioning itself to take advantage of increased business in the Democratic Republic of the Congo after Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Felix Tshisekedi of the DRC signed a bilateral agreement in April.
The lender, which is listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange, is strengthening its business and market share in the DRC by financing and facilitating payments for the expected increased number of investors and traders between the two countries.
A Kenyan business delegation comprising members of government and the private sector visited the DRC last week to explore the opportunities.
Equity, which holds more than $ 8.92 billion in assets, has mobilized nearly $ 4.46 billion to finance companies in countries where it is present such as the DRC, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda , South Sudan and Kenya.
â€œWorking with the governments of the DRC and Kenya, we have succeeded in bringing together 253 investors, entrepreneurs and business representatives who are gathered here today to witness a historic day where Kenyans and the Congolese people intentionally collaborate to develop business and investment opportunities, â€said James Mwangi, Group Managing Director at the launch of the Kenya-DRC trade mission to Kinshasa on December 3.
â€œOur commitment as a group is to complement government efforts by providing solutions ranging from financing, saving and sending money through Equity Bank Kenya and EquityBCDC. “
In addition to minerals, the country has a dynamic agricultural, cosmetic, textile and service sector.
“This is an opportunity for local entrepreneurs to get in touch with other businesses like theirs in Kenya,” said Jean Lucien Bussa, Congolese Minister of Foreign Affairs. â€œThe DRC is happy to work with Kenya and our local small and medium-sized businesses have the opportunity to forge business links with Kenyan businesses. “
The Kenya-DRC trade mission was opened on December 3 by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment of the DRC, Eve Bazaiba.
The mission includes a 15-day visit to the DRC between November 29 and December 13 to Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Goma and Mbuji Mayi.
â€œAs a government, we encourage Kenyan SMEs to view the DRC as a regional expansion market. Kenya and the DRC already have trade relations and this trade mission will further strengthen the twinning of Kenyan entrepreneurs with DRC companies, â€said Betty Maina, Secretary of the Kenya Trade Cabinet at the Ministry of Trade, Industrialization and Business Development.
Equity Group Holdings Ltd (EGHL), together with 37 United Nations agencies and development finance institutions (DFIs), has drawn up a grand plan to accelerate economic recovery in the affected East and Central Africa region by the Covid-19 pandemic through a private sector – driven by an â€œeconomic stimulationâ€ program.
The Marshall Plan aims to support economic recovery in South Sudan, DRC, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda where the lender is present.
The Bank targets loans to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in key sectors of the economy, including manufacturing, agribusiness, education, low-cost building and construction materials, and sectors of the economy. retail and wholesale trade which are considered catalysts for economic recovery.
The program aims to create up to 25 million direct and indirect jobs by lending to five (5) million businesses, each receiving approximately $ 893