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  • The Equity Leaders Programme (ELP) has been launched in Uganda and admitted its first cohort of 123 top-performing scholars from the 43 Districts where the Bank has a branch presence
  • The paid internship component of the Equity Leaders Program admits the top-performing boy and girl in the secondary level final exams from each District in Uganda where Equity Bank has a branch
  • The program aims at empowering young academically gifted scholars by supporting their access to education in public universities in Kenya and around the globe, as well as equipping them with leadership skills

Equity Bank Uganda has officially launched the Equity Leaders Programme (ELP) by admitting its first cohort of 123 top-performing scholars from the 43 Districts where the Bank has a branch presence.

The regional lender said the launch of the Equity Leaders Programme, 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 2021 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 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.

This leadership development model is delivered through various initiatives, among them an internship programme that allows scholars at local universities to return for internships with Equity Group and its partners during university holidays to get professional experience while saving for their university education.

The programme runs for the 3-6 months between secondary school completion and the beginning of university.

It also offers the Global Summer Internship Programme, which allows scholars studying at international universities to return to Africa for their summer holidays and intern with Equity Group and its partners, giving them work experience and building their professional networks on the continent.

Others include the College Counselling Programme, which supports Equity scholars to access admission and scholarships to some of the world’s leading universities, including the Ivy League universities in the US.

Speaking during the launch of the program, the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Betty Amongi said the government was 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.

“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.

The programme is aimed at exposing the scholars to the global universities’ admission process and how to adapt to 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 in the world.

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Equity Bank Uganda Managing Director Samuel Kirubi said, “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. Equity Bank is excited to continue affecting lives and livelihoods by empowering the top-performing boy and girl from every District by giving them an opportunity to discover their potential.”

Further adding Kirubi said, “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 they will 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 their families and to us, therefore ELP is impactful.”

About 700 ELP scholars have been admitted to 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 recognised 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.”

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Source of original article: Uganda – The Exchange (theexchange.africa).
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