The MD/CEO UBA Sierra Leone Usman Isiaka was the keynote speaker at the official launch of the Under 30 CEOs first edition magazine”The Entrpreneures Magazine”. The launching of the magazine and awards ceremony took place on Friday 27th May at the New Brookfields Hotel.

The MD before the official unveiling of the magazine spoke on the topic “Youth can be a positive force for national development if given the required knowledge and skills to thrive”

In talking about the role of youth in national development, the MD/CEO mentioned that youth can be a major human resources for nation building & development. Adding that young entrepreneurs and employers of labour to facilitate economic growth. He pointed out that young people are also major drivers of technological innovations and key agents for social change…

“The youth play a great role in nation-building. They have the power to help a country develop and move towards progress through community volunteering and taking up leadership mandates across every sphere of national transformation.

For Africa and Sierra Leone to be developed, we need to put into good use the potentials of young people by not only focusing on class room solutions but also capacitating the middle level man-power growth with skilled and tech-voc trainings” said Usman Isiaka, MD/CEO UBA Sierra Leone.

As a bank, UBA is proud to say that young people make up 85% of their workforce with several of them leading and performing as Heads of Units both in Sales and Non Sales functions.

The Group Chairman of UBA Plc Mr. Tony Elumelu through the his Foundation the Toney Elumelu Foundation (TEF) is the leading champion of entrepreneurship in Africa. The Foundation’s objective is to empower women and men across our continent, catalysing economic growth, driving poverty eradication and ensuring job creation.

The Group Chairman believes that the private sector’s role is critical for Africa’s development and that the private sector must create both social and economic wealth.

Since 2010, the TEF has so far issued out non-refundable seed grants of $80 million dollars to 15,847 young African Entrepreneurs therefore contributing to 409,000 plus jobs to Africans.

Sierra Leone has benefited significantly from the TEF seed grant. In fact, last year alone, 54 Sierra Leonean entrepreneurs won TEF seed grant and each received the non-refundable seed capital of $5,000 dollars for their business initiatives which they had applied with.

As a bank, UBA provide the following supports to Youth in Sierra Leone:

• Employs mostly young people as its workforce
• Delivers financial value through issuing loan scheme which can be used in business investments – UBA SME Loans
• Enrolment as Remittance Sub-Agents
• Engagement as Vendors and Service Providers
• Grants business capacity training and non-refundable start-up seed capitals to entrepreneurs through the TEF Foundation
• Provides and improves on youth friendly digital platforms to improve their banking experiences.

The event was attended by young entrepreneurs from different parts of the country.