United Nations Rwanda, Equity Group enhance partnership for acceleration and attainment of SDGs

On 29 November 2021 at 09:50

The United Nations system in Rwanda, Equity Group Holdings, Equity Group Foundation and Equity Bank Rwanda signed a major strategic partnership to accelerate Rwanda’s sustainable development in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the country, supporting Rwanda’s Vision 2050 program.

Their strengthened partnership will promote social inclusion and improve economic outcomes for human development contributing to the socio-economic transformation of Rwanda.

The partnership will strive to achieve the SDGs in Rwanda through a public private partnership for achieving the SDGs and supporting Rwanda’s transition as an emerging Middle-Income Country. It will harness innovative partnerships, investments, and financing to accelerate the SDGs for poverty alleviation, and minimizing reliance on aid for transformation of the lives and livelihoods of the Rwandan people.

Collaboration discussions between the partners have been underway for several month during which areas of collective activities have been determined and laid out in detail. The enhanced framework for partnership was culminated with a signing and exchange of expressions of intent letters between the organizations in Kigali, Rwanda between Dr. James Mwangi, Equity Group Holdings MD and CEO, also Executive Chairman of the Equity Group Foundation (EGF), and Mr. Fodé Ndiaye, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Rwanda.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Dr. Mwangi said that existing partnerships with UN agencies, including systemwide agreements in both Kenya and Uganda have proven to be mutually beneficial to the ’our common objectives of socio-economic development through the transformation of lives and livelihoods’.

"For instance, alongside UN agencies and Government in our Social Protection work we have supported 3.3 million refugee and vulnerable beneficiaries and provided US$ 852 million, as well as capacity building to advance their financial inclusion,” he said.

Through the enhanced partnership, Equity will work together with the UN Resident Coordinators Office and its various agencies with operations in Rwanda through the activities of a public private partnership that will strive to achieve and implement Equity Group’s `Africa Recovery and Resilience Plan’ in line with the Rwandan National Development Plan, Vision 2050 with a focus on 7 Key Areas:

1.Youth Education: beginning with the launch of our Equity Leaders Program which took place on November 27.

2.Job Creation: Equity Bank Rwanda and EGF will forge partnerships with the various UN and governmental Agencies to support economic inclusion.

3.Financial Inclusion: Utilize Equity’s de-risking education strategies to offer financial training to MSMES, particularly women and youth, in the sectors of Agriculture, Health, Education and Manufacturing in order create a more bankable population.

4.Agriculture Development and Support: Create partnerships in forming a youth-centered agri-business facility including tailored products for the youth in agribusiness to support them create and sustain new agribusiness startups.

5.Women’s Empowerment and Financing: Support women owned/led businesses with concessional financing to boost trade and other economic activities.

6.Health: Support the UN Rwanda `A Thousand Health Posts in the Land of a Thousand Hills: Promoting Universal Health Coverage’ by Catalyzing Investments in Financially and Environmentally Sustainable Primary Health Care and by enhancing Equity’s support for COVID 19 Recovery and Resiliency.

7.Energy and Environment: Strengthen market systems for a more inclusive, green, and diversified local economies through a combination of increased financing, policy, capacity development, MSMEs green competitiveness, sustainable value chains, green policies, ecopreneurship and strategic partnerships towards a more productive economy.

In addition to helping to develop and implement an impact finance strategy to drive the transition from SDG Funding to Financing for the SDGs in Rwanda, the partnership will support SMEs/MSMEs with training and catalytic investments to facilitate market access and cross border trade across diverse value chains especially for women and youth entrepreneurs. The two partners will also collaborate together on the development and implementation of Equity’s `Africa Plan for Resilience and Recovery’, in light of the impacts of COVID-19, aligned with the 2030 SDGs and the opportunity to build back better in a post COVID environment.

In warmly welcoming the new partnership, Mr. Fodé Ndiaye, UN Resident Coordinator in Rwanda, “Without the energies and expertise of the private sector, we will never reach the SDGs. This mutual framework for collaboration we have signed today strongly articulates and reflects our joint determination and the spirit of partnership that will help drive social and economic impacts at a crucial time for Rwanda in its recovery and growth efforts following the COVID-19 pandemic. And we are confident that this pioneering collaboration with Equity Bank will serve to inspire others to come forward.”

Equity has a unique position of co-designing evidence-based socio-economic interventions informed by insights from a customer base of 15 million clients and by leveraging on the Group’s bespoke implementation model which combines Equity’s ability to apply its commercial infrastructure and sunk capital to deliver efficient and impactful social impact programs, thus guaranteeing a high return on social impact investments.

“Equity Group Holdings Plc whose purpose is to transform lives, give dignity and expand opportunities for wealth creation, continues to play a leading role in contributing to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda on the Sustainable Development Goals. Through our regional banking subsidiaries, Equity is already collaborating with UN agencies in Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya and in other footprint countries and aims to utilize this partnership to contribute to the acceleration of the achievement of the SDGs”, said Dr. Mwangi.

“As Equity Group we are committed to not only grow with our customers but also to empower them socially and economically by availing opportunities and solutions that cater for their diverse needs enabling them to transform their lives and livelihoods.”

About the UN in Rwanda

The United Nations system in Rwanda consists of 22 UN agencies, programmes, and funds, both resident and non-resident. Since the Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994, the UN system has been a fundamental partner in the reconstruction of Rwanda. Since 2008, they have been delivering as one: ’One UN’. You can read more, here: https://rwanda.un.org/

About Equity Group Holdings

Equity Group Holdings (EGHL) is a Pan-African financial services holding company listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange, Uganda Securities Exchange, and Rwanda Stock Exchange. The organization is Kenya’s first trillion-shilling balance sheet bank.

The Group has banking subsidiaries in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and DRC and a representative office in Ethiopia. It has other subsidiaries in investment banking, insurance, telecom, fintech and social impact investments.

Equity Group has an asset base of over USD $10 billion. With 15 million customers, the Group is one of the largest banks by customer base in the region. Since 2008, the Group’s corporate foundation, Equity Group Foundation (EGF), has delivered social impact and development programs in Education and Leadership, Food and Agriculture, Social Protection, Health, Energy and the Environment, Enterprise Development and Financial Inclusion to millions of Africans. EGF has a networked health care provider, Equity Afia which has been supporting COVID-19 relief efforts. https://equitygroupholdings.com and https://equitygroupfoundation.com/

Dr. Mwangi said that existing partnerships with UN agencies, including systemwide agreements in both Kenya and Uganda have proven to be mutually beneficial.