Top 25 Corporations and Organisations Leading in Social Responsibility in 2023

Absa Bank Kenya has been associated with a number of market firsts, such as the launch of the first ATM in 1990, the launch of Sharia-compliant banking in 2005, as well as the introduction of unsecured lending.



Absa Bank, initially Barclays Bank, has operated in the Kenyan market for 107 years, with its first branch on Nkrumah Road, Mombasa (the branch exists to date). In March 1986, Absa became the first bank in Kenya to offer its shares to the public on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE). Today, the bank has a presence in 38 counties. It has 85 branches, 214 automated teller machines (ATMs) and a robust internet and mobile banking platform. Absa’s purpose is summarised as ‘bringing possibilities to life’.

Absa Bank Kenya has been associated with a number of market firsts, such as the launch of the first ATM in 1990, the launch of Sharia-compliant banking in 2005, as well as the introduction of unsecured lending. A highly profitable financial institution, Absa Bank Kenya’s capitalisation stood at Ksh 67.9 billion as of January 2023. Its total asset size stood at Ksh 481 billion, and it held eight percent market share as at the end of Q3 2022. As the financial environment continues to change, and with so many investment choices to make, Absa Bank Kenya is constantly looking for new ways to help its clients diversify, navigate and stay on top of their investment and banking decisions.

For instance, the bank offers a wide selection of Treasury Bonds and Eurobonds, issued by the Government of Kenya, through Absa Asset Management Limited (AAML). Via the newly launched Offshore Investments Proposition, its clients have access to structured offshore investments, giving them exposure to global investment opportunities. The institution’s dedicated team of International Offshore Investment Advisors offer expert professional guidance, and clients are assured of end-to-end support to make a well-informed investment decision.

A corporation hell-bent on professionalism and customer-obsession, Absa Bank has certified Wealth Management Relationship Managers who offer personalised advice and support to choose the most suitable investment, and give timely and actionable market insights. The Absa Unit Trust gives clients access to professionally managed funds, allowing investments from as low as Ksh 1,000 or (USD 100). Additionally, the Money Market Fund (available in Ksh or USD) ensures capital protection and enhanced returns through compounded interest. On the other hand, the Bond fund, Equity fund and Balanced fund assure clients long-term capital growth. Ensuring clients’ peace of mind is a priority for Absa Bank Kenya. Therefore, the bank has tailor-made insurance solutions to offer protection to clients’ families, wealth, businesses and property. Moreover, the clients can access a retrenchment cover, considering the turbulent economic times that are being experienced in the country.

To make banking easier and more efficient, Absa Bank Kenya offers an end-to-end digital onboarding process. Once a client opens an Absa Bank account, they can start to transact within minutes. The financial advisor’s secure and easy-to-use online banking portal and Absa Bank Kenya application enable clients to have access to their account anytime and anywhere, make utility payments, send and receive money through various channels, make credit card payments, and much more. Absa Bank Kenya strives to be a ‘force for good’ by making a difference in its communities, which benefits both people and the planet. This drives the bank’s growth as a business, ensures profitable returns to shareholders and continued growth and development of the staff. The sustainability journey Absa Bank Kenya has embarked on enables it to remain relevant in society and strengthens its ability to respond to an ever-increasing competitive landscape. In terms of Sustainable Finance, Absa Bank Kenya is deploying Ksh 6 billion across sustainable investment, financing and operational activities to help accelerate climate change transition and advance inclusive growth by 2025.

In support of women-led micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and general start-ups, Absa Bank Kenya has entered into a partnership with Melanin Kapital, an impact investment platform. The collaboration provides an investor readiness program that will see startups in the social impact space access up to Ksh 3 million in unsecured lending. The program targets 1,000 women-focused startups, providing value-add services such as financial training, investment-readiness, capacity building, structured mentorship, structured networking, and access to finance. Moreover, in partnership with the International Trade Centre (ITC), the bank has initiated the SheTradesKE Programme: A Ksh10 billion fund to advance credit to women-owned MSMEs until 2025. Absa Bank Kenya, in line with the United Nations 13th and 15th Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG #13, #15), ensures its business helps protect the environment through curbing climate change and reducing its carbon footprint. The financial services firm is committed to financing the green economy, agriculture, green building and working in partnerships to finance green mortgages. In September 2020, Absa became the first bank in Kenya to join the Kenya Green Building Society (KGBS) as a champion for these green initiatives.

In 2022, Absa Bank Kenya announced an ambitious plan to plant 10,000 fruit trees in schools across Kenya, as part of its ‘Birdies for Good’ initiative in partnership with Magical Kenya Open, an annual golf tournament. The project highlights Absa Bank’s commitment to environmental sustainability as a leading institution. “We realise that we cannot succeed without considering the welfare of our customers and the communities in which we operate, and therefore our interest in the financial wellness and continuity for our partners is a fundamental principle to the sustainability of our business,” Jane Waiyaki, the Absa Bank Head of Sustainability and Citizenship, commented. During its first year of launch, the ‘Birdies for Good’ initiative successfully raised over Ksh 8 million, in collaboration with the European Tour, with the funds going into supporting sustainable community development projects. Among the beneficiaries were a women’s bead-making enterprise and scholarships for girls in Laikipia, tree planting in Isiolo County and provision of sanitary pads to school-going girls in Samburu County. The bank recognises the challenges facing ordinary Kenyans, and seeks to be responsive in addressing the root causes of the social challenges faced. Its contributions to society and the economy can be defined by the social investment in the youth, women and communities. This is through Absa Bank Kenya’s internal improvement initiatives introduced into its operations, support of suppliers, and by its contribution made to the country’s tax base.

In matters Governance under environment, social and governance (ESG), the bank’s business focuses on creating ongoing value amongst its customer base. This is fostered through the implementation of responsible lending practices, as well as the innovation of products to serve specific customer needs. Additionally, Absa Bank Kenya focuses on the management of its own business processes responsibly. This allows the bank to live out its goals, and in doing so, demonstrates to staff why ESG protocols imposed are good for both the business and the society. Committed to contributing towards the UN SDGs, business sustainability, as well as remaining a core contributor to Kenya’s economy, Absa Bank is determined to continue working to be a ‘force for good’, hopefully simultaneously inspiring other institutions.


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Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Kenya’s Dr Hanningtone Gaya, holds a PhD in Commerce in Business Management from Nelson Mandela University (NMU), is viewed as an authority in country branding and is the founder chairman of the Brand Kenya Board.

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