By Etaarifa Contributor
A new crop of 65 Equity Leaders Program (ELP) Scholarship recipients were today flagged off by President Uhuru Kenyatta, as they embark on their academic tour of duty in global universities.
Epitomizing a latter day academic airlift akin to the 1960’s Tom Mboya initiative, the students are now set to join a variety of Ivy League and related top league Universities in the USA, Canada, South Africa, UK, Costa Rica and Ghana under a scholarship programme valued at more than US $12,178,124.
The 65 scholars, proceeding for further studies abroad, are part of the 605 scholars earlier selected to join the ELP, having excelled in the KCSE examinations last year.
With the flag off today, the contingent of ELP students studying at Global universities has now edged up to 265 with a total of 2,673 scholars now listed under the initiative which was first commissioned in 1998 by the then Equity Building Society.
Additionally, eight medical students from various Kenyan universities under the ELP have been selected to pursue their Clinical Electives abroad.
The students, who were flagged off at State House Nairobi, are academic merit recipients of the Equity Leaders Program (ELP), an internship program by Equity Bank and implemented through the Equity Group Foundation. Anchored as an advanced leadership development program, the initiative selects the top Wings to Fly Scholars who attain grade ‘A’ and the top boy and top girl in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination from the Counties and develops them into world-class leaders to transform society. This year, 12 out of the 65 scholars proceeding for further studies are alumni of the Wings to Fly Program.
Speaking at the flag off ceremony, Equity Group Foundation, Executive Chairman, Dr James Mwangi, described the ELP as a home-grown leadership development success story. “Barely 15 years into the launch of the ELP and with 2,673 beneficiaries, more than 1,029 are now pursuing their post-graduate studies or gainfully employed in leadership positions across the world. More than 1,644 ELP scholars are still pursuing their undergraduate degrees and will soon be graduating in various disciplines in local and international universities.”