KCB Group Limited has entered into a partnership with the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Regional Leadership Center East Africa to provide support totaling up to US$1 million (Ksh100million) over a five year period, to empower youth leaders in East and Central Africa.
The Center is part of U.S. President Barack Obama’s flagship program, YALI, aimed at investing in Africa’s future leaders.
As a key partner KCB will support the Center outreach through its broad network of’ branches in both rural and urban areas in Kenya, Rwanda, Southern Sudan, Tanzania, Burundi, and Uganda. The Bank will also provide vital Business Development Services for the Center alumni. These services will include financial literacy, business plan development, record keeping and loan applications among others. The Bank will also provide affordable credit to the alumni.
As part of the agreement, KCB will support the Center’s Transformation Fund, which provides alumni chapters with the tools and finances to design and deliver programs, services, and learning opportunities to thousands of youth throughout the region. This will not only promote leadership growth, but will also promote community engagement, the two partners said.
“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 are the holders of the greatest ideas, the energy and the commitment that is needed to drive economic transformation” said KCB Group CEO Joshua Oigara.
KCB will also provide internship and career placement opportunities for the Center’s participants and alumni. “We just don’t want to offer finances, but to offer skills, to train you, to mentor you and to walk the journey to prosperity together” KCB Group recently launched an enterprise development programme dubbed 2Jiajiri where it will invest at least Ksh50billion in the next five years to create at least 2.5 million jobs.
The YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa, located at Kenyatta University, provides a collaborative learning environment stressing individual responsibility, innovation, and results-oriented leadership. The innovation learning environment is the result of a public-private partnership that embodies the spirit of creative collaboration. On his part Mark McCord, the Center’s Director said the partnership is a major step forward in the engagement of regional companies in the youth leadership development effort. “The Center would not be possible without the support of our private sector partners. This investment by KCB Group will go a long way in advancing youth leadership opportunities in East and Central Africa that promote growth and strengthen Africa-based business and entrepreneurship, civil society, and public administration,” he said.
The Center is made possible by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the MasterCard Foundation, Kenyatta University and Deloitte. The Center is also supported by a growing number of African and international partners, which now includes the KCB Group.
“USAID supports young leaders driving sustainable economic development and democratic participation in East Africa and is proud to offer them dynamic learning opportunities through the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa. Partners, such as KCB, offer the young leaders the energy and influence of the private sector, knowledge of African and American institutions, and programmatic and educational resources of the U.S. Government,” said Karen Freeman, USAID Mission Director.