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Citi steps up direct aid to buy ventilators in Kenya

Citi’s chief executive for Kenya and east Africa tells Euromoney how Kenya’s banks have come together to buy ventilators; how Covid-19 will accelerate the adoption of digital banking; and why the removal of the interest rate cap is more important than ever for Kenya’s SMEs.


This pandemic will change a lot of things in terms of how people approach crises in the future,” Citi’s chief executive for Kenya and east Africa, Martin Mugambi, tells Euromoney.

Already working with the central bank to offer loan extensions and restructurings to personal borrowers and small and medium-sized enterprises affected by Covid-19, Kenya’s banks are also trying to tackle the health crisis with direct aid.

“The regulator asked banks to put together a fund to buy ventilators or buy equipment and banks are going to respond to that, probably by way of a fund,” says Mugambi.

“By different metrics, it will be a very coordinated response. This is not viewed as a government-only problem, but one in which the private sector is engaged, as are the banks.”

Even when the crisis comes to an end, digital money as a payment channel will remain strong - Martin Mugambi, Citi

The Kenya Banking Association is gathering bank contributions of KSh1 billion ($9.4

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