Equity African Leaders Program (EALP)

The Equity African Leaders Program (EALP) is an internship-based leadership development program that works to create a community of talented leaders who are capable of solving the world’s most pressing challenges.
1998Kenya

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting

Location Data

NairobiNairobiPeri-Urban, Rural, Urban

Launched in 1998 by Equity Bank but now managed by Equity Group Foundation (EGF), the Equity African Leaders Program (EALP) is an internship-based leadership development program that works to create a community of talented leaders who are capable of solving the world’s most pressing challenges. The program is open to all Kenya Certificate for Secondary Education (KCSE) graduates. The selection process is based on merit. The top boy and girl in each district where Equity Bank has a branch are selected to join. Through this criterion, 232 students are selected each year. An additional 15 top achievers are selected where students were the top in their county, even if Equity Bank does not have a branch in their district. EGF works in collaboration with the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) who forwards to them the list of results for selection. Once selected, verification of the candidates’ credentials is done by District Education Officers (DEOs). The DEOs also contact the candidates’ alma maters to pass on the letters of offer from the EGF. Since 2013, the program is also admitting graduates of EGF's Wings to Fly program into the EALP in addition to the regular number.

Once admitted, scholars attend a two-week induction in Nairobi in which they receive training in 21st-century skills such as financial literacy, career development, and entry-level banking. They get paid an allowance commensurate with entry-level bank staff every month, half of which is deposited into a SACCO as part of their college saving scheme. The interns get to draw from the savings once school starts for fees and other related expenses. During school holidays, the interns are eligible to work at the bank and earn more money for their college funds. Additionally, those interested in careers in banking move up to other positions in the bank developing their careers. A few join Equity’s partners—currently IBM and Phillips—for their internships. Those with interest in other careers have the freedom to seek employment outside of the bank upon graduation from college.

The EALP also has a College Counseling Program that helps the scholars in considering their strengths and ambitions and specifically focuses on helping interested scholars apply to top global universities. This program requires a separate online application in order for EALP Scholars to participate. Those selected attend a three-week boot camp run by alumni of the College Counseling Program who are on summer holiday from international universities. EGF covers the airfare from their universities abroad and stipends for the duration of the summer internship. The mentoring also involves helping scholars to prepare for any entry examinations, improve their writing skills, and therefore put in competitive applications for their universities of choice. Thus far, more than 200 scholars have accessed scholarships to world-class universities around the world.

Additionally the program has the Equity Innovators Award. Scholars submit business plans and subsequently engage in a pitching competition to a panel of experts. Successful plans win seed money for starting or developing their businesses.

Since its inception, EALP has mentored more than 2,000 scholars.

EALP is a holistic program that gives scholars academic vitality, professional development, as well as innovation and entrepreneurship development, putting them ahead of their peers in work readiness upon graduation from university.The double university intake introduced by the joint admissions board has reduced the amount of time that interns get to work and save college fees.

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