Absa Bank Uganda has donated 50 computers through the National Libraries of Uganda to ten public libraries to enhance the online learning capabilities of the youth amid the closure of schools.
The beneficiary libraries include the public libraries located in Lira, Jinja, Mbarara, Hoima, Masindi, Fort Portal, Soroti, Mbale, Kabale and Kawempe Youth Center. The donated computers will enable the youth to access the Bank’s ReadytoWork Programme, which teaches valuable soft skills to enhance employability through training modules to youth aged 18-35 to help them transition from school to the work environment. This skilling ultimately results in youth taking two pathways, formal employment or self-employment.
Speaking to the donation, Mumba Kalifungwa, Absa Bank Uganda’s Managing Director, said, “The world is shifting towards a digital future, and this has resonated throughout all sectors, including education. This situation has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of schools. As a bank, we believe that education remains a key driver supporting positive social economic development in our communities and as such, we are proud to support the learners’ online learning efforts by providing the tools to ensure the continuation of their education journey.”
Education and skills development is one of the strategic pillars under the Bank’s Corporate Citizenship Strategy and since its inception in 2016, 3,075 youth across the country have signed on to and graduated from the programme.
The public libraries will be enabled to access free wireless internet from Airtel Uganda, who in addition have partnered with the Bank to provide free data for youth to sign up for the ‘ReadytoWork’ training across the country. They only need to dial code *175*200# and follow the prompts.
Commenting on the partnership, Airtel Uganda Managing Director Mr. Manoj Murali said, “We thank Absa Bank for championing such programmes, like the ReadytoWork, that give the youth appropriate knowledge and skills to allow them to not only be employable but also create jobs and make a meaningful contribution to the economy of Uganda.”
“For the past three years, Airtel Uganda has supported public Libraries with free and reliable wireless 4G internet to enable the youth to conduct resourceful research in support of their education, and through the ReadytoWork programme, the youth will be able to get 500MB valid for 60days from Airtel to access the ReadytoWork website,” Murali noted.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, the Vice-Chancellor of Makerere University and guest of honour at the ceremony said, “This donation comes at a very opportune time given the current hurdle of discontinued education. The support will help open doors for idle youth to make better use of their time by attaining soft skills training that will assist them in the future.”