Internet data service provider Vodafone and Ecobank signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide financial business support worth $50,000 to 250 students at five Universities in Zambia. Vodafone Zambia, which recently launched its 4G data services in Zambia and as part of its strategy, has engaged 250 Brand Ambassadors from institutions of higher learning in Lusaka and the Copperbelt to promote the national youth empowerment agenda.
The institutions whose students will benefit from the scheme are University of Zambia (UNZA), Zambia Centre of Accountancy Services (ZCAS), University of Lusaka (UNILUS), Evelyn Hone College, NIPA in Lusaka as well as Copperbelt University (CBU) and Zambia Institute of Business Studies and Industrial Practice (ZIBSIP) on the Copperbelt.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Vodafone Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Lars Stork said the objective of the scheme is to build talent among the young people and upskill them to become self-reliant entrepreneurs which is vital towards the growth of the economy.
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 with Ecobank Zambia, the Brand Ambassadors will be required to sell the connection and propagate the Vodafone brand, 4 G LTE products and services within and outside campus and act as liaison between Vodafone and the student community.
Mr. Stork added that Vodafone has taken a deliberate step to make the empowerment of young people an integral part of the business and has to date, employed 50 graduates under the graduate trainee programme which helps them to gain hands on training whilst upskilling their skills set.
Ecobank Zambia Managing Director Mr. Kola Adeleke said that Ecobank, being a Pan African Bank with presence in 36 African countries, is happy to collaborate with Vodafone in this entrepreneurial and youth empowerment scheme. He also confirmed the Bank’s contribution towards reduction of the unemployment rate by embarking on a graduate trainee scheme. Seventeen fresh graduates from the University of Zambia, Copperbelt University, and ZCAS have so far benefited from the scheme.