Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Equity Bank Uganda has officially launched the Equity Leaders Program (ELP) by admitting its first cohort of 123 top performing scholars from the 43 Districts where the bank has a branch presence.
The launch of the Equity Leaders Program, a mentorship and leadership development program, plays a significant role in extending Equity Bank Uganda’s social impact contribution through the scaling up of various programs that are already under implementation through Equity Group Foundation (EGF), the Group’s social impact engine.
The scholars who were selected based on the 2020 Senior 6 Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) results released by the Uganda National Examination Board have just concluded a one-week induction process and will now proceed to join Equity Bank for a 3-6 months paid internship program where each scholar will get a monthly stipend and will experience on-the-job training and mentorship within various departments.
Speaking during the launch of the program, the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Betty Amongi hailed equity for investing in youth.
“As Government, we are excited to see that a local corporate brand has ventured into empowering the youth by giving them an opportunity to experience the corporate world and rub shoulders with top-class executives who will not only positively influence them into leadership roles but who have also dedicated a significant amount of their time to train and guide them, ” Amongi said.
“This is a significant day for us as a country because it is a mirror reflection that our youth will play a primary role in inspiring a future leadership that is keen on excellence and also giving back to the community.”
The Equity Leaders Program has been designed uniquely and will also offer the scholars an opportunity to apply for admission and full financial aid at global universities through admission into the College Counselling Program.
A program that runs for three months and is aimed at exposing them to the global universities’ admission process and how to manoeuvre through a new education system. This will allow them to join other scholars in top institutions such as Harvard, Stanford and Yale among others across various continents of the world.
Also speaking at the launch, Equity Bank Uganda Managing Director Samuel Kirubi said mentorship is key to career development.
“Standing here brings me great joy because many years ago in 1998, I was in the same position as our 123 scholars seated with us today. What started out as a simple mentorship and leadership program has contributed significantly to my success today and to who I am,” Kirubi said.
He said Equity Bank is excited to continue impacting lives and livelihoods by empowering the top performing boy and girl from every District by giving them an opportunity to discover their potential and explore this.
“These scholars will get exposure to the corporate world even before joining university to pursue their higher education and dream careers,” Kirubi added.
“By taking part in the Paid Internship Program, they get exposure at a young age and will also learn multiple life skills including personal branding and presentation, saving and investment and how to navigate the corporate world. The stipend they earn will also play a significant role in uplifting their economic status and that of the communities around them and to us, this is why ELP is impactful.”
Over 700 LP scholars have completed their tertiary education in leading global universities such as MIT, Yale, Columbia among others and have secured employment and senior roles in top multinational and global companies including Vice President at Bain Capital, Director of Government Affairs at Astra Zeneca, Senior Consultant at Boston Consulting Group, Software Engineer at Bloomberg with a large number taking senior leadership positions within the region and the continent.
Commenting on the launch, Equity Group Managing Director and CEO and Equity Group Foundation Executive Chairman Dr. James Mwangi said, “Equity Group has recognized the importance of investing in human capital. Through ELP, we have mentored close to 7,000 young scholars in Kenya and have nurtured them through paid internship work experience, coaching and mentorship while supporting their transition to the best local and global universities as we prepare them to enter the world of work.”
“With today’s launch, ELP now becomes operational in four of Equity Group’s subsidiaries including Kenya, Rwanda and DRC making it a regional program that will play an important role in integrating the East African region through the sharing of ideas and resources, building a network of young professionals and creating an alumni network of young and budding innovators who are likely to solve the region’s socio-economic challenges,” added Dr. Mwangi.