International Finance Corporation to offer subsidised consultancy for Kenyan companies

International Finance Corporation country manager Amena Arif

International Finance Corporation country manager Amena Arif during the signing of the Sh7 billion Financial Advisory Services Agreement (FASA) between the National Treasury, International Finance Corporation and the National Housing Corporation on August 25, 2022. 

Photo credit: Diana Ngila | Nation Media Group

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will help private businesses in Kenya adopt sustainable practices in line with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards at subsidised costs, as these issues become increasingly impactful on business performance.

The World Bank Group’s private sector financier on Thursday launched the Integrated ESG programme in Nairobi, through which it seeks to bolster sustainable business practices and reporting in Kenya and the region by providing affordable advisory services to companies.

It is primarily targeting businesses in the financial, manufacturing, agribusiness, and affordable housing sectors, and will work with regulators and associations such as the Kenya Private Sector Alliance and the Kenya Association of Manufacturers to onboard companies.

Corporate governance

Ms Tania Mansour, IFC’s Africa regional lead for ESG advisory services, said the institution has focused on building strong corporate governance in Kenyan companies over the past 10 years, but now seeks to help them understand and embed the environmental and social aspects into their business practices.

“ESG is very crucial right now, especially in Africa and emerging markets, because of climate change, food insecurity, energy insecurity, and the lingering effects of Covid-19; there’s a lot of financial support needed,” she told the Nation.

In Africa, IFC has unveiled similar programmes in Rwanda, South Africa, and Tunisia, and the Nairobi initiative will extend services to other countries in the region, including Uganda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.

Ms Mansour said consumers, investors, and employees are becoming conscious of sustainability issues, and businesses which do not embrace and report on them may soon find themselves struggling to stay afloat.

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