Rose Muthoni @rosemuthniN
Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) has announced a plan to inject Sh100 million into the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) Regional Leadership Centre in the next five years. The cash will go towards financing the centre’s investment in the next generation of African leaders.
The initiative, which was launched by US President Barack Obama, focuses on shaping the future of business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership and public management. It is made possible by the United States Agency for International Development (USAid) in partnership with the MasterCard Foundation, Kenyatta University and Deloitte.
KCB will also provide vital business development services for the centre’s alumni, including financial literacy, business plan development, record keeping and loan applications. The money will go towards supporting YALI’s transformation fund, which provides alumni chapters with tools and finances to design and deliver programmes, services and learning opportunities.
“We are making this deliberate investment in light of our belief that the youth hold a great sway in the direction and pace the African economy will take in the coming years as they hold some of the greatest ideas, the energy and the commitment that is needed to drive economic transformation,” said KCB Group chief executive Joshua Oigara.
The centre’s director Mark McCord said the partnership is a major step forward in the engagement of regional companies in the youth leadership development effort. US ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec said: “YALI East Africa recognises the importance of partnership in empowering and connecting young African entrepreneurs.”
KCB will also provide internship and career placement opportunities for the centre’s participants and alumni. KCB Group recently launched an enterprise development programme dubbed 2Jiajiri where it will invest at least Sh50 billion in the next five years to create at least 2.5 million jobs.