Equity bank flags off 102 students under leadership development program
Regional lender Equity’s Ugandan unit last week, unveiled 102 top-performing students, who have made it to the second cohort of the Equity Leaders Program (ELP). The beneficiaries were selected from the 50 districts that host the bank’s branch network in Uganda.
The group was flagged off April 29, with Group Chief Operation Officer Samuel Kirubi saying the event evoked memories of his own experience, when he was a beneficiary of the same program twenty-five years ago.
“Standing here brings me great joy because many years ago in 1998, I was in the same position as our 102 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. Equity Group 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,” Kirubi said.
The ELP is a mentorship and leadership development program, which forms a key plank of Equity Bank’s social impact initiative.
The scholars who were selected based on the 2022 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 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.
“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,” Kirubi added.
ELP expanded from Kenya to Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo last year, making it a regional program that plays 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.
The Equity Leaders Program 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 3 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.
Speaking at the same event, Equity Uganda Managing Director Anthony Kituuka said, he was elated to see “the program in its second year in Uganda.”
“These scholars will get exposure to the corporate world even before joining university to pursue their higher education and dream careers. 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,” added Kituuka.
Since inception, over 700 ELP 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, and Software Engineer at Bloomberg, with a large number taking senior leadership positions within the region and the continent.