ECOBANK Zimbabwe has been awarded with the annual Group Chairman’s Sustainability Award by its Togo-based parent firm, Ecobank Group, for positive environmental and social change.

Ecobank Zimbabwe won the award alongside Ecobank Ghana, the latter of which invested US$24 million in partnership with Electrochem Ghana Ltd to rehabilitate existing and create new salt pans.

Ecobank Zimbabwe was recognised for the launch of Ellevate 2.0, an initiative to support youth and women-led entrepreneurs, resulting in the opening of 400 accounts and disbursement of US$500 000 in loans.

The programme has also connected over 2 000 small-to-medium entrepreneurs, facilitating knowledge sharing and access to global trade networks.

“Over recent years, Ecobank has positioned itself at the forefront of sustainable finance, raising US$350 million through Tier Two Sustainability Notes and earning numerous accolades,” Ecobank Group chairman Alain Nkontchou said in a statement.

“A groundbreaking milestone was also achieved with the signing of the first-ever sustainability linked loan for a sub-Saharan financial institution, spearheaded by Proparco last year.”

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Nkontchou said sustainability was crucial for Africa, a continent rich in natural resources yet vulnerable to environmental and social challenges.

“By prioritising sustainable practices, we aim to support economic growth, enhance resilience against climate change and promote social well-being,” he said.

“Our commitment to sustainability is not only a moral imperative, but a strategic business approach that has proven immensely valuable.”

The Group Chairman’s Sustainability Award was inaugurated in 2018 and plays a pivotal role in advancing Ecobank’s sustainability agenda.

According to the group, this year’s winners exemplified innovative and impactful initiatives driving this mission forward.

Ecobank Group is a leading private pan-African financial services group present in 35 sub-Saharan African countries, as well as France, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and China, and provides a single gateway for payments, cash management, trade and investment.