Standard Bank Plc launches Report to Society to record and track its contribution to Malawi’s national development

Standard Bank CEO Phillip Madinga unveils the Report to Society in presence of UNDP deputy resident representative, Challa Getachew

* As a financial services provider in Malawi, we remain resolute in our purpose — which is ‘Malawi is our home and we drive her growth

* We are committed to playing our role to drive the country’s economic growth sustainably

* By serving our communities through impactful projects that touch lives and improve societies

By Duncan Mlanjira

Standard Bank Plc has launched a maiden annual integrated sustainability report, which is set to highlight Malawi’s social, economic and environmental impact in the country.


Named the ‘Standard Bank Report to Society’, it is a guiding tool the bank will use to record and track its contribution to Malawi’s national development.

The report details these integrated efforts which balance its business and social obligations — and this year’s review highlights the impact of K248 million the bank committed towards various social, economic and environment (SEE) impact areas as a contribution towards enhancing the growth for Malawi for the financial year ended December 31, 2021.

Launching the 2021 Standard Bank Report to Society, Chief Executive Officer Phillip Madinga told stakeholders in Lilongwe that during the financial year ended December 31, 2021, the Bank made positive contributions in six key areas — aiming to uplift lives of people at grassroots and catalyze economic growth.

Head of marketing department, Nyambura Chege and her team display the Report to Society

The areas are job creation and enterprise development, financial inclusion, trade facilitation & investment, health, education and employee training & development.

“As a financial services provider in Malawi, we remain resolute in our purpose, which is ‘Malawi is our home and we drive her growth,” he said. “We are committed to playing our role to drive the country’s economic growth sustainably by serving our communities through impactful projects that touch lives and improve societies.

Madinga added that Standard Bank Plc, which recorded a net profit of K24.8 billion in 2021, committed K248 million (1% of net profit) towards various SEE endeavors.

As a key player in the banking industry, Madinga said the Standard Bank takes pride in championing initiatives that improve the country for its people.


“Through the report, Standard Bank is demonstrating its integral role as enabler of economic growth by applying its expertise in the local and regional financial sector.

“Sustainability is multi-dimensional and is part of everything we do at Standard Bank Plc. It is about mitigating risks, building resilience, creating opportunities and transforming lives.

“It is the long-term goal of sustainable development which encompasses meeting the needs of the present without comprising the ability of future generations.”

The Report to Society has been developed with guidance from the International Integrated Reporting Framework and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, linking the Bank’s activities and commitments to the global agenda for a sustainable future.


“As a passionate driver of growth, this report communicates how we have leveraged our SEE impacts to support our strategy and achieve our purpose.

“Furthermore, the report intends to detail how we plan to generate impact in the future by giving an overview of our key impact ambitions and how we intend to measure our progress and success,” he said.

Notable contributions by the Bank include the introduction of Unayo, a ubiquitous transactional and digital platform that provides money transfers to people in rural and urban areas.

Unayo also targets to empower women farmers and youth, providing bursaries and grants in the public education sector, facilitating trade through Africa-China Trade Solutions and helping the public health system in the fight against CoVID-19 pandemic and corrective palate surgeries.

Under Unayo, Standard Bank Plc recruited over 8,000 agents and merchants in the year 2021 — thus contributing towards financial inclusion as most of these were either un-banked or underbanked, while increasing financial liquidity to rural areas that have no access to formal financial services.

The Bank’s three-year program with UN Women, under the smart agriculture initiatives, helped increase output of groundnuts for 10,000 groundnuts farmers in Lilongwe, Mchinji and Mzimba.

This is the inaugural report with a review of 2021 and the Bank intends to publish the report on an annual basis.

Last month, Standard Bank handed over two greenhouses to GGL Farm in Lumbadzi, Lilongwe in its contribution towards the country’s initiative in the promotion of agricultural transformation that will improve the country’s economy.

The farm is managed by Inosselia and Greenbelt Authority, which also runs an agricultural training centre near Kamuzu International Airport and Standard Bank also donated furniture.

The investment is worth K23.5 million and is also expected to engage young people into modern farming methods that will eventually reduce food prices through increased supply on the local market.

Present at the handover ceremony was Minister of Agriculture, Lobin Lowe, who hailed Standard Bank for its commitment and financial assistance, saying the financial institution has demonstrated huge commitment and support towards greenhouse farming practised by Inosselia and Greenbelt Authority.

He said the bank’s gesture would ensure production of quality products from the greenhouses and ensure that they are able to supply to local shops and as well as international market.

Managing director for Inosselia, Michael Gorelik said the greenhouses produce 50 tons of vegetable commodities a week — tomatoes and green pepper among others.


He said most shops in the country used to import from South Africa, but now they are all importing locally at Inosselia facility, saving forex for the country.

“We have explored international markets and very soon we will be exporting to South Africa and other African countries,” Gorelik had said.

Greenbelt Authority and Inosselia have been producing vegetable commodities for at least two years which have been supplied to Malawi’s major supermarkets.