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PHOTOS: Unemployment Africa’s biggest challenge, says Elumelu as UBA employs 398

Tony Elumelu, group chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA), says unemployment is one of the biggest challenges on the continent.

Elumelu spoke at the induction ceremony of 398 young Africans who were inducted after participating in a six-month graduate management accelerator programme (GMAP) in Lagos on May 2.

The graduates are from six African countries; Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroun, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia.

Speaking at the event, Elumelu congratulated all the graduates for completing the intense capacity-building programme and combining learning with on-the-job training experience, garnered while rotating across several departments and units in the bank.

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The economist also highlighted the bank’s passion for youth empowerment in Africa to bridge the unemployment gap.

“For me, these young UBA Graduates are a testament to who we are: a truly pan-African Group, that invests in African talent. This milestone is more than just numbers,” Elumelu said.

“It signifies UBA’s commitment to youth empowerment. Unemployment is the greatest challenge we face – a tragic and cruel betrayal of a generation.

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“We know governments alone cannot create all the jobs we need – so it is up to us, the African private sector, to partner with our government in improving lives and livelihoods.

“This is Africapitalism, and it is gratifying to see UBA play its part. UBA is dedicated to creating a positive impact, through the GMAP programme UBA is creating employment, boosting economic growth, and transforming lives across Africa.

“At UBA, identifying these young ones, bringing them to the centre, training them, equipping them for the future and the task ahead, not just for a career in UBA, but wherever they end up remains our passion, because this is how we play our role as a Pan-African bank, in helping to empower the next generation, which is the African youth. We are helping to create employment and this for us is our driving force.”

Earlier in his speech, Oliver Alawuba, UBA’s group managing director (GMD) and chief executive officer (CEO), commended the graduating class for their unwavering commitment and emphasised the programme’s role in cultivating the next generation of UBA leaders.

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“Your dedication, resilience, and unwavering commitment have been nothing short of inspiring,” Alawuba said.

“Each of you has demonstrated the qualities of a true UBA ambassador, and today, we celebrate not just your achievements but also the collective strength of our UBA family.”

Modupe Akindele, UBA’s group head of human resources, said the bank remains committed to nurturing talent and leadership within the organisation. 

Akindele said the GMAP programme, which marked its second graduation, will be a continuous initiative, as it culminates an intensive journey towards leadership excellence.

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“Already, the programme has graduated over 1,100 graduates, that is about 700 in 2023 and now we have 398 graduates,” she said.

Akindele said the bank will continue to nurture the youth to their full potential.

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