By HELEN ZULU –
VODAFONE Zambia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ecobank Zambia to provide financial business support worth US$50,000 to 250 students at five tertiary education institutions in Zambia.
Vodafone chief executive officer Lars Stork said as part of the company’s strategy, Vodafone had engaged 250 brand ambassadors from institutions of higher learning in Lusaka and on the Copperbelt to promote the national youth empowerment agenda.
Mr Stork said the objective of the scheme was to build talent among the young people and up-skill them to become self-reliant entrepreneurs, which was vital towards the growth of the economy.
He said this during a signing ceremony held in Lusaka yesterday.
“The scheme will provide students with a credit facility of K2, 000 that will be availed to each brand ambassador to purchase stock from Vodafone at a discounted rate for resale purposes.
“By effecting this partnership, the brand ambassadors will be required to sell the connection and propagate the Vodafone brand and services within and outside campus,” Mr Stork said.
He said Vodafone was passionate about youth empowerment and that the initiative was in response to Government’s call of providing employment to 10.5 per cent of unemployed youths.
Mr Stork said the company had so far employed 50 graduates under the graduate trainee programme.
Ecobank Zambia managing director Kola Adeleke said the financial institution was happy to partner with Vodafone in the entrepreneurial and youth empowerment scheme.
Mr Adeleke said this was in line with the bank’s vision to contribute to the economic development and financial integration in Africa.
“The on-boarding of the 250 Vodafone brand ambassadors is quite exciting as it affords us the opportunity to foster the goal of the Bank of Zambia on financial inclusion,” he said.
The institutions involved include University of Zambia, University of Lusaka, Evelyn Hone College, National Institute for Public Administration, Zambia Centre of Accountancy Studies, Copperbelt University and the Zambia Institute of Business Studies and industrial practice on the Copperbelt.