Standard Bank Malawi has signed a partnership agreement to support girl education in Malawi as one way of keeping adolescents learning and grooming future bankers.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Lilongwe Chief Financial Officer Temwani Simwaka said a key component of the partnership is a mentorship program by the bank’s employees of school girls in Grade 5 to 8 in Salima, Dedza and Mangochi.
“Standard Bank employees will go on the ground to provide mentorship and life skills training in areas such as career development, avoiding early marriages and financial literacy. Through this direct approach, we hope to keep girls in school in Malawi.
“This is the best gift we could ever give to our girls, and as a bank we take this initiative seriously in line with our Corporate Social Responsibility programs,” she said.
In her remarks, UNICEF Malawi Deputy Resident Representative Roisin De Burca said the partnership is a key intervention aimed at stopping brain drain from primary schools for adolescents.
She said out of more than half of a total 4.5 million children enrolled in government primary schools, 57 percent of the girls drop out leaving only 34% transitioning to secondary school.
“These statistics are daunting. UNICEF believes that through collective efforts and partnerships such as the one we have signed with Standard Bank, we can secure girls’ right to access to education,” said Roisin.
The partnership marks a major CSR shift for Standard Bank Malawi, a subsidiary of Africa’s largest bank by assets, and listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE).