- The Cooperative Bank of Kenya to manage targeted EIB East Africa COVID-19 Rapid Response support for new private sector investment across Kenya
- Latest EIB partnership with the Cooperative Bank of Kenya confirmed ahead of EIB Nairobi Hub launch
- Companies to benefit from working capital and long-term local currency loans
New investment by companies active in sectors most challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic will be accelerated by a new EUR 50 million targeted financing initiative launched in Nairobi today by the European Investment Bank and the Cooperative Bank of Kenya. The new business financing programme will also be supported by European Union grants.
Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank and Dr. Gideon Muriuki, Group Managing Director and CEO of The Co-Operative Bank of Kenya highlighted how closer cooperation between Kenyan and African financial partners will unlock crucial access to finance by firms impacted the economic, trade and health impact of the global pandemic.
“COVID-19 has dramatically impacted business activity across Kenya and ensuring new investment is essential to help companies recover from the pandemic. The unique partnership between the European Investment Bank and the Cooperative Bank of Kenya has successfully supported private sector investment across Kenya since 2003. The latest cooperation backed by the European Investment Bank’s targeted East Africa COVID-19 Rapid Response facility will unlock EUR 50 million of new investment, strengthen economic resilience and allow Kenyan companies to harness opportunities for growth.” said Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank.
“The European Investment Bank is pleased to join forces with the Cooperative Bank of Kenya to help small businesses across Kenya to withstand the shock of COVID-19. This new initiative will enable companies to adapt to the challenges of the COVID-19 operating environment and is a key part of the EIB’s support for health and economic resilience across Africa and around the world.” said Thomas Östros, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for Eastern and Southern Africa, and development.
The Ambassador of the European Union to Kenya, H.E. Henriette Geiger said “As the European Union we are happy to have enabled this cooperation between the EIB and the Cooperative Bank. With a grant of 8 Million Euro from the European Union, we expect that this line of credit will allow Kenyan businesses strengthen their economic resilience to shocks from the impact of Covid 19 and avoid further employment losses.”
The Co-operative Bank of Kenya and the European Investment Bank have worked together to finance investment across Kenya since 2003. This long-standing partnership has financed expansion of manufacturing, education, agriculture, transport and logistics firms and supported thousands of jobs.
Thanking the European Investment Bank, Dr. Gideon Muriuki on his part added: “Co-operative Bank commitment to the SME sector in Kenya will ensure that this facility will be available immediately to fund acquisition of tangible business assets, working capital, development of distribution networks, innovation and business research among others, and contribute to the recovery of Kenya’s businesses following the covid-19 challenges.
“The credit facility will be available for up to a maximum of Kes 1.5billion per customer for a maximum tenor of 7 years. Businesses employing up to a maximum of 250 employees can apply immediately, he added.
Backing private sector recovery with long-term local currency financing
The new targeted financing scheme will include support companies in sectors most impacted by the trade, economic, tourism and health challenges triggered by COVID-19 and unlock investment to accelerate private sector recovery from the pandemic.
Kenyan companies will be able to access long -term loans in KSH, with tenors of up to 7 years, far longer than usually available.
EIB strengthening presence in Africa
New partnership highlighted ahead of the formal launch of the EIB’s new regional hub for East Africa.
EIB President Werner Hoyer and Vice President Thomas Östros are spending four days in Kenya meeting political, business and financial leaders on their first official visit to Africa since the pandemic.
The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest international public bank and last year provided more than EUR 5 billion for new investment across Africa.