Absa Bank Kenya is the most recent entrant in the visibly cut-throat competition for the women market by financial institutions as the bank launched the ‘Absa She Account’ to empower millions of women and households in Kenya.
Absa Bank joins Stanbic Bank that launched the Dada Account marketed as the go-to bank for women.
Another financial institution big on women’s membership is Dimkes Sacco. The Sacco was established by women in 1999 and has over the years grown to have 12 branches. Currently, the Sacco serves 60 percent women in their share of clients.
Women are better savers, pay loans more faithfully, business-minded (small, medium, or large scale), and comprise 51 percent of the Kenya population according to the last Census numbers.
During the Absa event streamed live on Facebook, the Bank’s Managing Director Jeremy Awori spoke of the strides the bank has made in empowering women and including them in the bank’s leadership structure, including the board.
“Inclusion is not just a nice thing to do, it is the right thing to do and a key success factor that the business community and country leadership should embrace,” said MD Awori.
Their chief guest was Cabinet Secretary Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Prof Margaret Kobia who spoke at length about efforts in the region to empower women in all sectors of the economy and leadership.
“It is a momentous period for women in Kenya. For the first time, we have a Lady Justice nominated as Chief Justice, Martha Koome. Her nomination means the struggle towards inclusion is a worthy effort for all,” said Prof Kobia.
She spoke on the second day of the visit of the President of Tanzania Suluhu Hassan in the country. President Suluhu is the only female President in the continent (Africa) in this period.
CS Kobia said that women face various challenges of access to finance, marketing, coaching, training, and mentorship, and the decision by the Absa board has decided to take this head-on was the right trajectory.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta has been in the forefront in championing for more women leadership, and this includes the financial sector, organisational boards, and political circles,” said CS Kobia.
Patricia Ithau, Absa Board Member, spoke about the growth of businesses run by women to access and benefit from the fund.