Citibank plans to spend Sh25.7 million on 50 small and medium enterprises in Kenya and Uganda acquire entrepreneurial and vocational skills.
The banking conglomerate’s foundation has given the funds to Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO), an international development charity, for disbursement in Kenya and Uganda.
The youth running businesses in Machakos and Nakuru in Kenya and those in Gulu, Jinja and Mbale in Uganda will benefit from the fund. Twenty-four Citi bankers at local branches will work with 16 selected businesses for five weeks to help the outlets streamline operations, ease losses and costs.
“We recognise the importance of providing young people with vital skills to enable them to secure jobs and thrive in today’s global economy,” Manolo Falco, Citi’s corporate and investment banking head for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, “I am excited that this programme will directly address those two issues.”
VSO director of private sector engagement Chris Walker said the programme would create an avenue for the youth to acquire crucial skills that enhance their chances of gaining meaningful employment.
He added that the private sector has a key role to play across the globe to tackle poverty by helping communities generate wealth via income generating projects.
“With estimates putting more than one in five young people out of work in Kenya, and youth unemployment on the rise in Uganda, this announcement could not be timelier,” he said.