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Equity retains ‘Best Bank’ title in Kenya for 10 years in a row

The Banking Awards by Think Business, which have been running for the past 16 years, are organized by Think Business Limited, a strategic research and competitive intelligence company specializing on the financial sector.

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The Equity Centre.PHOTO/Courtesy.

Equity Bank Kenya has received 22 accolades in the 2021 Banking Awards by Think Business cementing the bank’s position as the leading bank in Kenya.

For the 10th year in a row, Equity was ranked Best Overall Bank in Kenya and Best Bank in Sustainable CSR for the 5th year running.

The Bank also garnered first position in 10 other categories which included Best Tier 1 Bank, Best Bank in Trade Finance, Best Bank in Agriculture and Livestock Financing¸ Best Bank in Asset Finance, Best Bank in Mobile Banking, Best Bank in Product Innovation, Best Bank in Agency Banking, Best Bank in Internet Banking, Best Commercial Bank in Microfinance and Bank with the lowest charge for individuals.

Equity took 1st runner up position in 4 categories including Best Bank in SME Banking, Best Bank to borrow from, Best Bank in Mortgage Financing and the Special Judges Award for Product Innovation for the Kenya Cereal Enhancement Programme Climate Resilient Agricultural Livelihoods Window (KCEP-CRAL), e-voucher mobile program targeting smallholder farmers and agro dealers.

Additionally, Equity took third place in the Best Retail Bank, Best Bank in Digital Banking and Most Customer- Centric Bank award categories reinforcing the brand’s positioning as a people-centred, digital bank and the bank for all irrespective of the sector or segment they are in.

In the leadership categories, Equity Group MD and CEO Dr. James Mwangi was crowned CEO of the Year for his contribution to financial inclusion, for steering the dynamism of the region’s banking sector and for his role in championing corporate social investment in the various communities that Equity operates in. Dr Mwangi has been feted CEO of the Year for 5 years now since 2017.

Edwin Kiburu, who serves as a Technical Product Manager in charge of Lifestyle Payments also won the Outstanding Young Banker Award marking the 3rd year that Equity has bagged the award. A testament that Equity is passionate about professional youth empowerment, leadership development and mentorship.

While receiving the awards in a virtual ceremony, Equity Bank Kenya Managing Director Gerald Warui commented on the win saying, “The recognition by the Think Business Banking Awards has reinforced our position in the market as a bank that customers have trusted, a bank that listens and cares for customers, a bank that enables businesses to grow and thrive, a progressive bank that offers self-service digital solutions and a bank that is responsive to the market and customer needs.”

The Banking Awards by Think Business, which have been running for the past 16 years, are organized by Think Business Limited, a strategic research and competitive intelligence company specializing on the financial sector.

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Laikipia

Senior UK military officers to tour Kenya over 2012 murder coverup near British army base

In 2012, the UK’s Special Investigation Branch carried out initial enquiries in Kenya, including providing information about British personnel to Kenyan police.

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The late Agnes Wanjiru. Photo/Courtesy

Senior United Kingdom military officers will be visiting Kenya in the coming weeks to look into a possible coverup of a murder case involving a Kenyan woman and British soldiers.

The body of 21-year-old Agnes Wanjiru was found at the Lions Court Hotel in Nanyuki town, Laikipia County two months after she disappeared in March 2012.

The identity of the British soldier who allegedly stabbed the woman to death before dumping her body in a hotel septic tank is widely known in the army, but no action has ever been taken against him.

A fellow soldier had gone to the “proper people” immediately after hearing a squaddie confess to the killing but said he was told to “shut up” when he reported it and no action was taken.

British High Commissioner to Kenya, Jane Marriott in a statement said the UK was fully cooperating with the investigation and will help in any way it could.

In 2012, she said, the UK’s Special Investigation Branch carried out initial enquiries in Kenya, including providing information about British personnel to Kenyan police.

While expressing outrage and concern about the tragic death, the High Commissioner said no further investigation requests were made by Kenyan authorities at that time.

“Following the conclusion of a Kenyan inquest in 2019, we understand that the Kenyan authorities are looking into the murder. We will support that Kenyan police investigation,” she noted.

She emphasized that the conduct of the UK military in Kenya is incredibly important in enhancing bilateral relations but where there are issues, the UK have and would address them.

However, an inquest was held in Kenya in 2019 in which a judge ruled the mother was ‘murdered by British soldiers’ but no subsequent action was taken by the army.

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COVID-19

Kenya to begin repackaging human vaccines by April 2022

Today, the President said he was pleased to confirm to the nation that Kenya was on course to realize this target. As of today, over 5 million adults have been inoculated.

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Kenya will have the capacity to repackage the COVID-19 vaccine by early next year, President Uhuru Kenya has announced adding that the pandemic had taught the country the essence of self-reliance.

In May, the Ministry of Health said talks were underway with the Oxford AstraZeneca manufacturers to enable the importation of large quantities for repackaging in vials.

In his Mashujaa Day address earlier today at Wang’uru Stadium in Kirinyaga County, the President directed the Ministry of Health to fast-track the vaccine production capacity process.

“As the first step towards this goal, we have established a company to facilitate this venture in the name of Kenya Biovax Limited,” he stated saying the form and fill rollout by Easter of 2022.

The country aims to have a fully-fledged human vaccine manufacturing capability by 2024, the National Covid-19 Vaccine Deployment Plan from the Ministry of Health shows.

On June 29, 2021, during his Sixteenth Address on the COVID-19 Pandemic, the President pledged to the nation that by Christmas this year over 10 million adults would have been vaccinated.

Today, the President said he was pleased to confirm to the nation that Kenya was on course to realize this target. As of today, over 5 million adults have been inoculated.

He said compliance to Ministry of Health protocols has seen new infections decline over the last two weeks, as characterized by the positivity rate of below 5 per cent over this period.

“It is, however, important for all of us to appreciate that we are not yet out of the woods. We must, therefore, continue to observe the containment measures as directed by the MoH,” he noted.

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COVID-19

President Uhuru: Why COVID-19 pandemic is a ‘blessing in disguise’

He said the strategic diagnostic investments have strengthened the country’s healthcare system especially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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A virus

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about unprecedented transformations in the country’s health sector, President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced.

He said the transformation is probably one of the most phenomenal testimonies of how Kenya transformed COVID-19 obstacles into opportunities that improved the health sector.

He said one of the unintended benefits of the pandemic is the increase of intensive care unit bed capacity from 108 to 651 ICU ready beds, an impressive 502 per cent.

“Similarly, our total hospital bed capacity as a country has increased by 47 per cent from 56,069 in 2013 to the current figure of 82,291 hospital beds spread throughout the country,” he noted.

While highlighting key achievements during Mashujaa Day celebrations in Kirinyaga County, the President also said the country has improved oxygen production capacity significantly.

The President reported that public health facilities can now produce over 32 million litters of medical Oxygen per day, up from 3 million litres per day in March 2020.

On testing capacity, he said the country in March 2020 only had one referencing laboratory to test notifiable diseases of international concern but now boosts of 95 such labs.

“Let me remind you that at the beginning of the pandemic early last year, we used to ship our samples for testing in South Africa and the results turnaround time would be anything from 5 days onwards,” he stated.

He said the strategic diagnostic investments have strengthened the country’s healthcare system especially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It will propel us faster towards the attainment of UHC and fortify our country’s preparedness for future global health security challenges,” he stated.

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