Kenya Women Holding (KWH), the mother company of the Kenya Women Finance Trust (KWFT), has rebranded to Echo Network Africa (ENA) as it aims at expanding into other African countries.
Speaking during the rebranding at a Nairobi hotel on Friday, CEO Jeniffer Riria said that Echo Network Africa is positioning itself as a market leader to focus on women issues throughout Africa and therefore the name precedes the strategy.
Riria said that her dream in 10 years is to have networks all over East Africa sharing the lessons they have built over 30 years as KWFT.
“We are moving out and looking at the 30 years to come, we will be operating outside the boundaries of Kenya and already we are working in Somalia. We are telling women that Africa and the world is their playing ground and ENA is that path to the dream,” she said.
Riria explained that the change of the name was also necessitated by the confusion between the two institutions – KWFT (the bank) and KWH – since very few stakeholders are able to distinguish the two.
“We have been strategizing in the rebranding for two years together with the board, the whole process will be culminated on the international women day,” she said.
She explained that there is nothing else that is going to change apart from the name insisting that the board remains the same which applies to the staff and their mandate.
Riria expounded that empowering women is not all about giving them money but it includes addressing their democratic rights and addressing their own inefficiencies and issues not in the banking mandate.
“We have rolled out the participatory democratic fund initiative in efforts to achieve the two third gender rule which has been very difficult to achieve through the legal means,” she posed.
The CEO said that one of the problems that the women spoke to them prior to the elections 2017 and they also observed is that they lack finances to get into that process because some of them don’t have finances to register even at the party level.
“If we don’t have critical masses at the party and nominations level we are joking about the gender rule,” she opined.