Safaricom Limited and the KCB Foundation have partnered with Acumen to advance the Acumen East Africa Fellowship, a leadership development program that equips emerging social leaders in East Africa with the skills, knowledge and moral imagination to drive social change in their communities. The two institutions have jointly committed $1 million to Acumen as part of a three-year partnership to catalyze the development of the region’s bright minds and big thinkers dedicated to tackling the problems of poverty.
“We are beyond grateful to have the support of two of East Africa’s most respected names in business,” said Jacqueline Novogratz, Founder and CEO of Acumen, a nonprofit global social venture fund that invests in companies, leaders and ideas to change the way the world tackles poverty. “Safaricom and KCB Group share our commitment to bringing the private and public sectors together to support those individuals who have the courage to confront the status quo and dare to dream of a different tomorrow.”
Launched in 2012 with the support of KCB Foundation, Acumen’s East Africa Fellows Program is designed to build the next generation of social leaders with the audacity to transform society and create a better, more inclusive world. Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, who recently joined Acumen’s Board of Directors, and Joshua Oigara, CEO of KCB Group, announced their commitment at the graduation for Acumen’s 2015 Regional Fellows on November 14 in Nairobi.
“We believe in order to make a tangible difference in the societies in which we operate, we must be willing to invest in the change-makers to empower them with the skills that will enable them to take on the world’s challenges,” said Mr. Collymore.
Over the last four years, Acumen’s East Africa Fellows Program has attracted thousands of applicants from seven of the region’s nations who come from diverse cultural, geographic and socioeconomic backgrounds and work across a variety of sectors. The 20 Fellows selected remain in their jobs while participating in five week-long seminars, where they receive the tools, training and space to innovate new ideas, accelerate their impact, and build a strong network of social leaders from across the region and around the world.
“KCB is deepening its investments in developing and nurturing a critical pool of capable leaders who will drive the growth agenda in the East African region and beyond, explaining our partnerships with like-minded organizations like Acumen,” said Mr. Oigara. “The future and success of East Africa largely depends on investments towards growing young leaders. As a banking group, we are proud to support the East Africa Fellows Program and excited to contribute towards the development of stronger leadership qualities among young and innovative minds who have defied the challenges they face and put in place viable solutions to various problems facing the region. Our pledge is to continue supporting such initiatives since we believe that we can only be the change that we want.”