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Ngatia secures Kshs 4B scholarship program to address financial literacy gap

East Africa Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture (EACCIA) President, Richard Ngatia

In a historic move, President Richard Ngatia of the East Africa Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture (EACCIA) has orchestrated a groundbreaking partnership with the European Business Institute in Luxembourg.

This collaboration aims to distribute 28,000 scholarships valued at nearly Ksh 4 billion, addressing the prevalent financial literacy gap among small and micro-enterprises in East Africa.

Recognizing the pivotal role of financial literacy in optimal decision-making and business growth, the collaboration between EACCIA and the European Business Institute introduces a comprehensive scholarship program.

The institute plans to allocate a minimum of 2,000 scholarships to each member of the East Africa Community, encompassing nations such as Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Zanzibar, DRC Congo, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, and Somalia.

Valued at 740 Euros (Ksh 130,000) each, the scholarships collectively represent a significant investment of Ksh 3.6 billion.

EACCIA President Richard Ngatia outlined that the scholarships will cover a three-month certificate course from January to March.

The curriculum includes crucial subjects such as Business Management, Business Finance, Applied Blockchain Technology, Artificial Intelligence Integration, Micro and Macro Economics, Managerial Accounting, Entrepreneurship, and Communication.

Expressing his enthusiasm, Ngatia urged entrepreneurs, especially the youth, to seize this opportunity promptly.

He emphasized, “We are making a big step forward to improve the human capital in our region so that businesses can be managed better for improved results and sustainability.”

Under Ngatia’s leadership, the EACCIA has previously successfully awarded similar scholarships to women in the business chapter of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI).

To streamline the scholarship process, the EBU and EACCIA will facilitate an efficient transition from confirmation to course enrollment through designated contact persons in each of the 14 East African countries participating in the program.

In the wake of expanding its membership beyond East Africa, the EACCIA now includes Comoros, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Madagascar, and Seychelles. Alongside supporting SMEs and informal sectors, the organization strategically focuses on capacity-building interventions for national chambers of commerce across the region.

Ngatia, a prominent figure in various global business councils and associations, has significantly increased KNCCI’s membership during his tenure.

His leadership roles include being a member of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) World Chambers Federation (WCF) General Council, chairman of the International Conference on the Great Lake Region-Private Sector Forum-ICGLR in Africa, deputy patron of the Kenya National Federation of Jua Kali Association, and a board member of the East Africa Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Agriculture, as well as Trustee PERAK.

In addition to the scholarships, EACCIA actively seeks opportunities to support learning processes through study tours and trade tours, fostering a peer education strategy where traders learn from the experiences of others.

The European Business Institute in Luxembourg expressed gratitude, commending East Africa’s business leadership for its unwavering commitment to advancing education in the region and across Africa.

“We are honored to collaborate with the East Africa Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture to make a positive impact through education,” stated the Institute.

Highlighting the critical issue of financial illiteracy in the region, Ngatia referred to the Global Financial Literacy Survey, revealing significant percentages of financially illiterate populations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and South Africa.

The scholarship initiative is poised to address this challenge, contributing to a stronger savings culture for the region.

As Ngatia spearheads this transformative effort, leveraging his wealth of experience and leadership roles, the scholarships are poised to create a lasting impact on the economic landscape of East Africa.