NAIROBI – Equity Group Foundation (EGF) Executive Chairman Dr. James Mwangi has commissioned the airlift of 98 scholars who have secured admission and scholarships to join 52 global universities located in 18 countries. The scholars are drawn from the Equity Leaders Programs in four countries – Kenya (73), Rwanda (19), DRC (5), and Uganda (1). The 98 scholars have secured scholarships valued at Kshs. 2.44 billion (USD 17,116,817) for the 4-year duration they will be pursuing their undergraduate studies. Equity Group will provide an airlift token of up to Kshs. 200,000 to each of the scholarship beneficiaries to support the transition into their global universities.
The scholars who are part of Equity’s paid-internship program, have benefited from college counselling under EGF’s Education and Leadership Development pillar. The intensive college counselling program ran for two months which scholars are coached and mentored on essay writing, and university selection, and provided for training on admission exams taking as applicable. Additionally, the scholars have been taken through a week-long camp where they have received guidance on the transition journey to becoming global scholars.
Speaking at a ceremony to celebrate the scholars, Dr. Mwangi lauded them for staying focused on their goals and securing funding and scholarship to access the world’s best education systems. “As you step into this new phase of your life, remember that you have earned your place competitively among thousands of applicants from around the globe. You have differentiated yourself and demonstrated that you have what it takes to be a true global citizen. I urge you to keep that focus in your quest for knowledge. Remember that with you, Africa has hope that it can leapfrog on several development indicators, and I encourage you to remain rooted on the continent’s ambitions”.
The scholars will be joining universities in different countries across the globe including the United States of America (USA), Canada, United Kingdom, China, India, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Hungary among others.
In line with Equity Group’s strategy the Africa Recovery and Resilience Plan (ARRP), Dr. Mwangi who serves as Equity Group Holdings Plc MD and CEO reminded the scholars on the six pillars that anchor the plan with emphasis on the last one on Technology-enabled ecosystems where they have an opportunity to make significant impact. “You will be joining academic institutions that work collaboratively with the private sector and research and who invest in cutting-edge technology necessary to give you globally competitive knowledge and skills. Take advantage and learn as much as you can but keeping a lens on how such technologies and systems can empower you to innovate solutions to Africa’s challenges”, he added.
In his advice to the outward-bound scholars, Dr. Mwangi remarked that data from the global alumni indicated that 47% proceed to work in Tech for leading companies such as Amazon, Google, Meta, and Microsoft. A further 21% work in Consulting for companies such as Bain, Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey and 15% end up in Finance in organizations such as Wellington, Fidelity, and BNP. The ELP Global Alumni have also ventured into social entrepreneurship upon returning to the continent and set up successful startups in various sectors such as health, education, and human capital management. In the process, they have continued to create jobs both directly and indirectly which contributes to Equity’s overall goal of creating jobs through the ARRP.
Speaking during the Airlift Ceremony, one of the scholars, Jok Magok Kuch from Kakuma Refugee camp, expressed his excitement and enthusiasm, “I’m excited to join the University of Toronto under the Equity Leaders Program. I aim to acquire knowledge and skills to contribute to Africa’s transformation through quality education and transformative leadership. I strongly believe this opportunity will enable me to become a living testament to the positive impact of Equity’s mission,” he said.
Zeddy Kipyegon, who is joining New York University, Abu Dhabi also noted “Under the Wings To Fly program, I was well taken care of while in high school. I then joined the ELP program where I got access to multiple opportunities as a scholar. Being a part of the program has transformed me a lot”.
With this year’s admissions, a total of 856 students have so far benefitted from the college counselling program and have successfully received admission to prestigious universities on fully funded scholarships. This intake includes 14 students who will be joining Ivy League Universities including University of Pennsylvania (3), Yale (3), Harvard University (3), Princeton University (2), Cornell University (1), Brown University (1) and Columbia University (1).
The Equity Leadership Program is an Equity Group Foundation initiative that was established in 1998 to nurture leadership skills in the youth who have demonstrated great promise. The rigorous leadership development program selects top-performing students nationally from the Equity Group banking subsidiaries with the aim of creating a community of transformative leaders who will work together across borders and various sectors to drive sustainable economic growth and social progress in Africa.