Word from the CEO

We are proud of the sustained and intensive work the industry has undertaken over the last two years to introduce the principle of sustainable finance in our banks’ operations and ensure acceptance and adoption of the same.

KBA is proud to have been in the forefront of this quest whose objective is a banking sector that is not only efficient and profitable, but is also alive to the wider societal concerns of environmental and economic sustainability and social good.

While our members have a critical role to play in the country’s development as financiers and facilitators of economic activities, we believe the impact of our contribution greatly hinges on the quality of the decisions we make. Economic viability is vital, but time has come for banks in Kenya and the region to adopt and implement a more inclusive decision-making model that also factors in variables such as environmental impact and social capital in the overall finance equation. KBA’s deliberate leadership in the formation of the SFI and the development of the Kenya Sustainable Finance Principles are key milestones in this journey.

KBA’s participation in this process was also informed by the industry’s desire to make Kenya and the EAC bloc more competitive in the international arena. It is borne out of the realization that for us to win on the global stage, we must be tooled to play by the rules and precepts of other countries and blocs, sustainable banking principles included.

We therefore must make these principles part of our genetic make-up as an industry, as a necessary supplement to existing risk management practice, which is why KBA has developed this e-Learning platform as a structured and sustained Capacity Building program for all the key players in finance decisions: including credit risk managers, business development and strategy heads, operations officers and bank boards..

Appreciation

I wish to congratulate the entire SFI structure for a job well done. The SFI Working Group played a crucial role in coming up with the initial recommendations that have ultimately ensured that today; we have Guiding Principles that are attuned to the realities of our East African context. There are also the three Work-streams that have been coordinating the various aspects for the SFI, namely Principles and Procedures, Capacity Building and the Green Economy. The import of their input and sacrifice cannot be gainsaid.

This work also would not have been possible without the support of a number of partners and collaborators who bought into our vision. We thank them. UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI), DEG (German Development Finance Institution) and FMO (Dutch development bank) supported the inaugural CEO Roundtable and have remained committed to the program. We are also thankful for the goodwill received from the Central Bank of Kenya, UN Under Secretary and UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner, the IFC (International Finance Corporation) and African Development Bank.

Habil Olaka
KBA Chief Executive Officer