Equity Bank Rwanda has extended its social impact contribution by scaling up the various programs that are already under implementation through Equity Group Foundation (EGF), the Group’s social impact engine. The Bank, whose purpose is to transform lives and livelihoods, to give dignity and expand opportunities for wealth creation has launched its signature mentorship and leadership development program, the Equity Leaders Program (ELP).
The Equity Leaders Program which is one of the programs under EGF’s Education and Leadership Development Pillar has launched in Rwanda by selecting 32 top-performing male and female students across different Districts where Equity Bank Rwanda has a branch presence.
The scholars who were selected based on the Senior Six National leaving examination results obtained from the National Examination and Schools Inspection Authority (NESA) will form the first cohort of ELP beneficiaries in Rwanda bringing the total number of beneficiaries within East Africa to 17,072 since the inception of the program. This includes graduates from Equity’s bespoke secondary school scholarship program, Wings to Fly.
The 32 scholars have just concluded a one-week induction process and will now proceed to join Equity Bank for a 3 months paid-internship program where each scholar will get a monthly stipend and will experience on-the-job training and mentorship within various departments. Outside the 3-month paid internship period, the mentorship and coaching engagement with the scholars will be maintained for the period they are in university.
Speaking during the official ELP launch in Rwanda, Equity Group MD and CEO, and Executive Chairman of the Equity Group Foundation Dr. James Mwangi stated: “Over the last three decades, Equity Group has recognized the importance of investing in human capital. In Kenya and through our Equity Leaders Program (ELP), the Group has identified close to 7,000 of the most gifted boys and girls who have graduated secondary school and 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. Testament to the success of the ELP is our current Managing Director of Equity Bank Uganda who is a beneficiary of the program.”
Over 700 of ELP scholars have gone ahead to complete their global education in leading universities like Yale, Harvard, MIT, Science Po, Columbia among others. Most have proceeded to securing employment and senior positions in top companies such as a Vice President at Bain Capital, Director of Government Affairs at Astra Zeneca, Senior Consultant at Boston Consulting Group, Software Engineer at Bloomberg just to name a few. They continue to occupy senior leadership positions upon their return to the continent.
The Equity Leaders Program has been uniquely designed offering the 32 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’ admissions process.
Also speaking during the launch, Equity Bank Rwanda Managing Director Hannington Namara said: “Equity Bank is excited to continue impacting lives and livelihoods here in Rwanda by implementing efficient and productive programs that can sustainably create change. We intend to leverage on our banking infrastructure to connect the youth, farmers, MSMEs, women and communities to educational, health and economic opportunities, tools and technologies that will promote personal progress and wealth creation.”
In addition to the skills training, ELP aims to empower young academically gifted scholars through mentorship and leadership development and is also keen on spurring personal and professional development, creativity, innovation, and community engagement amongst the scholars thus moulding them into forward-thinking young professionals with an ethical focus on giving back to their communities.
Dr. Mwangi continued, “The youth hold great potential and are the future of our continent. The Equity Leaders Program is scaling its reach across the region to give opportunities to Rwandan youth to explore their potential and obtain job training even before university. By working with Equity, they will also enjoy access to a regional network of international professionals while also having a chance to network and form strong relationships critical in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship thus contributing to both the social and economic development of Africa.”
Speaking as part of the launch program, State Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, the Honorable Gaspard Twagirayezu said, “We are delighted to partner with Equity Bank to create world class transformational leaders of tomorrow who will inspire change through taking responsibility to shape the future .The top performing scholars were selected based on the Senior Six exams results and have received training during the boot camp which will expose them to be great leaders in different spheres of life and be able to study in various universities both local and global.”
The 32 scholars who have completed a rigorous training exercise and induction program will commence their paid internship this coming Monday.