At a handover ceremony held at its offices in late June, Stanbic Bank Uganda publicly contributed UGX10 million towards the Young and Emerging Leaders Project (YELP), an initiative of the LéO Africa Institute, which works directly with young, emerging leaders to develop their capacity to impact their communities and greater society.
Launched this year, the Young and Emerging Leaders Project will annually induct 20 thought leaders into a fellowship programme designed to familiarise them in the values of integrity, social responsibility and socioeconomic transformation. The project is driven by the spirit of “Agaciro”, a Kinyarwanda word meaning dignity, self-reliance, self-respect.
According to UN Statistics, over 78% Uganda’s 36 million-strong population is below the age of 30. With eight million aged between 15 and 30, the country is also facing one of the highest youth unemployment rates in sub-Saharan Africa, and thus the potential of future civil instability. Though Uganda is making economic progress, it still faces significant challenges in meeting its young people’s needs - challenges that are compounded by the fact that its population continues to grow at a rate of 3.2% per year.
Speaking at the event, Stanbic Bank's Head of Marketing Daniel Ogong drew attention to these pressing statistics, saying private sector interventions to supplement government educational programmes are critical to the country’s progress, as Uganda has one of the youngest populations in the world.
Echoing Mr Ogong’s sentiments was Kwezi Tabaro, Deputy Director of LéO Africa Institute, who was at the handover to accept our contribution. As well as thanking us for our support, he re-iterated the need to build a critical mass of thinkers, leaders, commentators and influencers committed to progressive personal, countrywide and continent-wide development.
“The youth are a key pillar in the transformation of Uganda and East Africa as a whole,” said Mr Ogong. “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.”