Equity Group Chief Executive Officer James Mwangi has been awarded this year’s Oslo Business for Peace Award for his efforts in enhancing financial inclusion in the region.
Dr James Mwangi is one of Africa’s most renowned entrepreneurs.
Enabling financial access to the poorest
James Mwangi started working for Equity Bank in 1993 and has since then been known for turning around the bank from a loss making entity to making it one of today’s largest banks in East and Central Africa .
He is credited with democratising financial access by giving the unbanked population opportunities for broader economic participation.
Today, Equity has become an integrated financial services group operating in 6 African countries with over 9 million customer accounts and nearly $4 billion in assets. Norfund has been invested in Equity Bank since 2008.
A scalable, technology-driven business model
The aim of Equity Bank is to transform the lives and livelihoods of people in East Africa socially and economically by providing modern and inclusive financial services. The bank is one of the few banks globally that has succeeded in developing a scalable, technology-driven business model for efficient, high quality service delivery to the mass market in a developing country.
Norfund has been invested in Equity Bank since 2008. The investment was later transferred to Arise – Norfund’s main vehicle for investments in financial institutions in Africa, established in 2016. In 2019, Norfund committed a direct loan to Equity Bank funding further growth.
Norfund congratulates James Mwangi for this well-deserved award and we appreciate our long-term partnership with Equity Bank.Tellef Thorleifsson, CEO NOrfund
The Business for Peace award
The Business for Peace award, which has been described as Nobel Prize for Business, is conferred annually to exceptional individuals who exemplify their outstanding business worthy initiatives ethically by creating economic and societal value.
“Dr Mwangi’s ability to merge economic theory to the practical realities of village life enabled him to revolutionise the banking industry in Africa. Today, Equity is one of the most inclusive banks in the world with clients across the socio-economic spectrum including youth and women, ” states the Business for Peace press release.