Two hundred and fifty top performers in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education are set to benefit from Equity Bank’s university sponsorship, leadership and mentorship programme.

This year, Equity Bank Group foundation will spend Kshs 180 million towards the program at a sponsorship cost of Kshs 720,000 per student

The program offers university sponsorship to the top boy and top girl in all the districts where Equity Bank operates through an internship program and leadership training.

Equity Bank’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr James Mwangi said the programme imparts the scholars with the right skills, values and mindset to make them responsible and accountable citizens.

“This programme aims to nurture and develop top performers to become future transformational leaders,” said Dr Mwangi.

This year’s intake of 250 top performing scholars will bring to 1,290, the total number of students who have benefitted from this program since its inception in 1998.

During their internship at the Bank, the students are inducted into leadership skills, life skills, work ethics, entrepreneurship, community service amongst other areas.

The students also visit schools and motivate other students on academic excellence. The internship continues when the students are on vacation while at the University and it offers them an opportunity for employment upon graduation.

Dr Mwangi, said the programme also supports students to seek admissions to top world universities. He said the students are guided through the college application process all the way through to matriculating and excelling in their schools of choice.

So far, 65 of these students have secured admissions in globally competitive institutions of Higher Education including Harvard, Yale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, London School of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, Seoul National University in

South Korea, Smith College, Princeton, Duke, Brown, Bowdin College , Cornell University among others.

The Chief Guest Education Minister Hon. Mutula Kilonzo was represented at the meeting by Assistant Minister for Education Hon. Calist Mwatela, challenged higher

institutions to develop globally competitive work force.

“While basic skill development and workforce preparation skills are important in the education system, a paradigm shift must take place recognizing that in order to be truly globally competitive. Our education institutions should be globally competent to enable our young people to become globally competitive,” said Hon. Calist Mwatela.

Equity Bank has invested in supporting education as one of its key social investment pillars through Equity Group Foundation. In partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, Equity Bank through Equity Group Foundation rolled out the 'Wings to Fly' Program. The Wings to Fly program is a

partnership between The MasterCard Foundation and Equity Group Foundation. The scholarship initiative which began in 2010 has grown from a $50 million to $ 67 million fund with the support of additional partners including UKaid who extended a USD 5 million grant and USAID extended a grant of USD 17.4 million. The initiative has so far secured scholarships for nearly 7300 students which is part of a 10,000 scholarship target

Equity Bank, through Equity Group Foundation has also been supporting the National schools and colleges drama and music festivals as a way of nurturing talents among the youth.

Through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Education the Bank disburses Free Primary Education (FPE) funds and the Free Secondary Education (FSE) funds in support of free primary and free secondary education programmes.

About Equity Bank Group Equity Bank commenced business in Kenya on registration in 1984. It has evolved from a small Building Society, a Microfinance Institution; to currently the all-inclusive financial services provider which is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange and Uganda

Securities Exchange.

Equity Bank Group is one of the region’s leading Banks whose purpose is “to transform the lives and livelihoods of the people of Africa socially and economically by availing them modern, inclusive financial services that maximize their opportunities”. While the

Equity brand is associated with empowerment of un-banked & the poorly banked segment of population, the Bank has evolved to become an all inclusive bank for all.

With over 7.5 million accounts, Equity Bank is the largest bank in the region in terms of customer base. The Bank has operations in Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda and Tanzania.

About Equity Group Foundation

Equity Group Foundation was established by Equity Bank to create the financial and operational infrastructure for social programs aimed at low income population. This innovation and creative vehicle has fully transformed the concept of philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. While Equity Group Foundation champions the social economic transformation of the people of Africa and seeks partnership along six cluster thematic areas, Equity Bank provides the infrastructure of delivery hence reducing the operational cost of the Foundation and increasing the rate of return on any social investment.

Equity Group Foundation, in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation and with support from UKAID and USAID has secured USD 67 million for 7,300 scholarships for academically gifted but financially chalenged children which is part of a 10,000 targeted secondary school scholarships under the Wings to Fly program. In partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, EGF is training a targeted 1 million youth and women in financial education. The Foundation has also been instrumental in agricultural transformation under the green revolution for Africa under its Kilimo Biashara initiative in partnership with AGRA, Government of Kenya and IFAD. The Foundation focuses on six key social thematic areas of Education and Leadership development, Financial Literacy and Access, Entrepreneurship, Agriculture, Health, Innovation and environmental protection.

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