UBA Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, on Monday, joined the rest of the world to celebrate the International Day of the African Child.
The day which has been set aside by the United Nations to celebrate children in Africa, recognises the courage of students who marched for their right to better education in Soweto South Africa, and is marked annually on June 16th. UBA Foundation brought together students from various secondary schools in Lagos to the Tony Elumelu Amphitheatre in the UBA Head Office, where they were educated on various issues, ranging from financial literacy, importance of reading culture and nation building.
Some schools which were represented at the event included Akande Dahunsi Memorial High School, Lagos; Government Senior College, Maroko, Aunty Ayo International School Ikoyi and Wahab Folawiyo Senior High School, Ikoyi. UBA’s Group Head, Human Resources, Mrs Patricia Aderibigbe who welcomed the students, said that UBA Foundation centres on three key pillars: Education, Empowerment and Environment. Throwing more light on this, she explained that the bank, through its foundation, recognises the huge role that education and indeed a good reading culture has to play in the lives of the youth.
She said, “The UBA Foundation is committed to impacting the lives of the African youth across the continent. As a pan-African institution, we believe that the future of Africa lies in her youth. For this reason, UBA Foundation is actively involved in facilitating educational projects and bridging the literacy-wide gap on a pan-African scale. “The UBA Foundation is helping rekindle the dwindling reading and literacy culture amongst African youths as they pursue their education. Over time we have worked with various schools and educational institutions across the continent to ensure that the UBA Foundation continues to traverse the continent, contributing positively to the development of African youth, especially in the area of education,” she added. She explained that the bank through its foundation, aims to make sustainable improvements in the lives of the needy and under-privileged by supporting entrepreneurship programmes, such as social entrepreneurship schemes which benefit the community at large.
On his part, the Chief Credit Officer, UBA Africa, Mr. Franklin Erebor, who spoke briefly on financial literacy and the need to plan for the future, told the pupils that it is important for them to manage their funds and finances. He said, “You are not too young to start to plan for the future, as what you do now when you are young will impact greatly on you later in live. So it is essential that you have an account which should be well monitored to ensure that it fulfils the purpose. “You need to be financially literate, as this will help to open your eyes to the opportunities inherent and help you make wise decisions to benefit from the investments,” Erebor said.
The UBA top officials had a brief reading session where they read to the students and engaged them in reading a number of passages from select reading materials. As a Pan African Institution, UBA is in the forefront of promoting Africa and African values, especially in the areas of economic development for the continent. Recently, the bank also held its UBA Conversations, an annual event commemorating the Africa Day, where African icons contributed to discussions around changing the African narrative and growing the continent.