Eswatini Bank contributes E1.2 million towards youth programme
November 2, 2023
Eswatini Bank has announced a contribution of E1.2 Million towards the Eswatini Youth Empowerment Programme (EYEP) to support the country in reducing youth unemployment. This contribution will go towards hosting five graduate interns for a period of two years under this initiative, which UNDP supports.
Making the contribution on behalf of the bank was the Managing Director, Nozizwe Mulela, who said the bank was at a transformative stage, urging the youth graduates to be part of the process. She said the bank looks forward to learning how best to deliver their services from the energetic young people who are full of ideas and innovation.
“We wish to stay with the programme as much as we can. We’re taking five graduates now, and we’d like to take more, but we have to start somewhere, and five is a good start,” she said.
Appreciating the partnership with UNDP, Mulela further urged the private sector to sign up for the programme to create opportunities for the youth in a country where 58% of the age group between 15 and 35 years is unemployed. In response to youth unemployment, the government and partners, supported by UNDP, developed EYEP, which has two components: graduate placement and artisanal skills training. Under the graduate placement, over 2800 applied, and 200 have been placed since July across various organizations for six months. EYEP aims to place 100 more graduates by the end of December 2023, bringing the total to 300.
In response, UNDP Resident Representative Rose Ssebatindira expressed her gratitude to the bank for the generous contribution, adding that it was an important milestone in the EYEP journey – where the EYEP offer is demand-driven, a key driver of success in such initiatives.
“The bank’s investment in EYEP – 24 months paid internship – beyond the provisions of the pilot initiative of 6 months is indeed proof of concept – that the Eswatini Youth Empowerment Programme is a feasible approach to addressing the youth unemployment problem,” she said.
Speaking at the same event, Thandeka Kalua, a representative of the graduate interns, conveyed her sincere gratitude to all partners who worked tirelessly to avail this opportunity to the youth.
“I believe that this programme has epitomised the African proverb which states, ‘if you want to go fast, walk alone, but if you want to go far, walk together,’” she said.
She further expressed her gratitude to the bank for participating in this initiative and allowing them to launch their careers.
Applications for host organizations are still open in the EYEP portal – eyep.org.sz – and government departments, companies, and NGOs are urged to sign up for the programme.
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