Stanbic Bank Kenya and the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) have partnered to offer financial literacy training for hearing impaired entrepreneurs in Kenya. The participants in the training will be from Kajiado, Kiambu and Nairobi environs.
The training will be conducted under KBA’s Inuka SME Program. It aims to reach , which aims to reach 200 hearing impaired business owners. Since 2018, the Association has been championing financial literacy training in conjunction with banks to upskill underbanked members of the public to be financially included and support business growth for banked MSMEs. Through the Inuka SME Program, more than 50,000 SMEs have been empowered with key skills and knowledge to enhance their capacity to access bank finance and run their businesses better.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, Stanbic Bank’s Head of Business and Commercial clients, Florence Wanja, said, “Creating an enabling environment is mandatory for businesses to succeed. It is for this reason that we partnered with the Kenya Bankers Association to conduct this training. It is the first-ever training for hard of hearing Business owners in the Kenyan banking industry. Through this partnership, we aim to drive further entrench inclusion as a driver of economic development in the country.”
The Kenya Bankers Association has been a driving force of inclusivity in service delivery and has championed product development targeted at the deaf communities. For instance, they previously partnered with the Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Kenya, and Deaf eLimu Plus launched the Deaf Elimu Banking App, a self-training tool for bank-environment Kenyan Sign Language.
Speaking during the launch of the training, Kenya Bankers Association Chief Executive Officer Dr. Habil Olaka said that this is a significant moment for the sector in advancing financial inclusion for deaf business owners. “The series of training reaffirms the industry’s commitment to supporting unbanked persons with disabilities to have knowledge on how to sustain their business in the long-term and bolster their ability to access credit from banks,” he said.
Kenya has also made significant progress to ensure that the deaf members of our society have access to information. It includes the 2010 constitution that recognizes sign language as the language of the deaf, an indigenous language and one of the languages for the parliament in Kenya. In addition, the Disability Act 2003 requires all public broadcasting stations to include sign language in their programming. However, there is room for further progression.