Kampala — Stanbic Bank has contributed UGX 10 million Shilling to the Young and Emerging Leaders Project (YELP), an initiative of the LéO Africa Institute.
Started in 2017, the Young and Emerging Leaders Project will induct 20 outstanding thought leaders annually into a fellowship program designed to train and orient values of self-advancement, integrity, social responsibility, and socioeconomic transformation.
The project was established within principles of the African spirit of "Agaciro", which espouses the dignity, self-worth, and identity of the African as the cornerstone of leadership values.
Stanbic Banks Head of Marketing Daniel Ogong said, "The youth are a key pillar in the transformation of Uganda and East Africa as a whole. As a bank we recognise the important role they have to play in our future socio-economic development which is the reason why more than 70% of our Corporate Social Investment Budget is directed towards Early Childhood Development projects, Primary and Secondary education."
"When you take into account the fact Uganda has one of the youngest populations on the world such private sector interventions to supplement Government educational programmes are therefore critically important and very necessary." Daniel added.
According to UN Statistics, over 78% Uganda's population of about 36 Million people is below the age of 30. With eight million youth aged between 15-30, the country also has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in Sub-Saharan Africa. And though Uganda is making significant strides economically, it faces significant challenges in meeting its young people's needs today and their challenges tomorrow as its population continues to grow at a rate of 3.2 percent annually.
Accepting Stanbic's contribution on behalf of the Institute Kwezi Tabaro, Deputy Director of LéO Africa Institute expressed his gratitude to Stanbic for the kind gesture and support.
"We hope through this partnership to grow the fellowship as a continuous yearly engagement where we seek to create a generation of thinkers, leaders, commentators and influencers within our society. We welcome Stanbic on this journey to create a better society."
Kwezi explained, "In selection of participants, we considered young leaders who are conscious of their duty in transforming society and are dedicated to promoting Africa's interests and image in the world especially those concerned with addressing issues of poverty, climate change, unemployment, and fostering social justice."
"We anticipate in time to build a critical mass of individuals committed to personal development, advancement of career, and shaping a progressive future for Uganda and East Africa." Kwezi concluded.
The Young and Emerging Leaders Project, is one of a number of high impact youth oriented Social Investment projects that Stanbic supports. Others include, the 2017 SME Business Mentorship Programme where 210 SME were trained in strategic business management and the recent construction and handover in February of a brand new ECD center at Ggaba Market landing site which provides free daycare for 40 children from families working in the nearby fish market.