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Building to Last: Nurturing Excellence and Crafting Future African Leaders at UBA



Some moments resonate as profoundly remarkable in life, where dreams are born from humble beginnings and transformed into extraordinary realities.

As I stood before 700 UBA graduate trainees, drawn from across Africa, I thought of the long journey that brought me to where I am today. A journey that began with the same vigour, dedication, and hope that I saw in these young Lions and Lionesses.

I had the privilege of having my one-on-one induction session with UBA’s new graduate trainees on Tuesday. I love these sessions, as I eagerly anticipate interacting with the brilliant minds, that become part of our UBA-Tribe.

I, too, started my career as a trainee many years ago, equipped with little more than ambition, a thirst for knowledge, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. I walked that same path as these bright minds, who have now become part of Africa’s Global Bank. Countless challenges and triumphs have marked the way from that moment to this day, each contributing to the story that brought us together.

In these sessions, I make it a point to share fragments of my journey, detailing my processes, highlighting my triumphs, and even discussing my lowest moments.

This practice isn’t just a personal reflection; it’s a conscious effort to ensure everyone can learn from the dedication and hard work that has marked my career. Through these personal stories, bonds are forged, and lessons are imparted.

This ethos of transparency and shared learning is central to my approach and symbolic of the values that drive UBA’s success. As an institution, every stage of one’s career should be marked by growth, mentorship, and the continuous pursuit of excellence.

This same excellence has driven me throughout my career – a vision of creating a bank for all, a bank for Africa and an environment where talent is nurtured, dreams are realized, and excellence is celebrated. It is a vision that has inspired me to create a world class trainee programme, that will nurture future leaders, who mirror the passion and dedication I demonstrated as a trainee myself.

But beyond nurturing future leaders, the UBA GMAP – our bespoke graduate trainee programme, is making significant strides in addressing critical societal issues.

The experience reinforced to me the criticality of institution building. In front of me were a generation of new leaders. UBA has created a six-month programme, identifying the best and brightest young men and women from across Africa. We have invested in and equipped our youth. We have done well and done good.

Our example illustrates why my management strategy and philosophy also address our common African future.

1. Addressing the issue of unemployment through Job Creation

The UBA Graduate Trinee Programme goes beyond its primary goal of nurturing future leaders; it also plays a vital role in addressing the pervasive curse of unemployment across the African continent.

Youth unemployment remains a significant challenge, and UBA actively contributes to the solution. The Group is creating real, tangible jobs for young Africans by providing opportunities through this programme. These jobs not only benefit the individuals involved, but also positively impact our immediate environment and stimulate the economic growth of our continent’s economy.

2. Creating opportunities for and Investing in Young Africans

UBA’s commitment to developing and empowering young talent is a response to the pressing need for opportunities on our continent. GMAP is designed to identify and nurture the potential of young Africans, giving them access to training, mentorship, and real-world experiences essential for their personal and professional growth. It is building to last.

By investing in these young minds, UBA is shaping the banking industry’s future and offering hope and prospects to a generation of African youth eager to contribute to their communities and the broader society.

3. UBA-A Bank For All Ages

The UBA GMAP is compelling evidence that UBA is for all; we are a dynamic and forward-thinking institution dedicated to youth development, which is an integral part of our identity as Africa’s Global Bank.

By investing in the younger generation, we continue to affirm that we are leaders and role models in fostering innovation, diversity, and inclusivity in the financial sector.

I am filled with pride in the UBA Executive Management team and gratitude as I witness this dream of a world-class trainee programme come to life. A programme that represents the culmination of years of hard work, determination, and unwavering belief in the potential of our future leaders. A total of 107,310 young Africans applied for the programme. After a rigorous selection process, we shortlisted to 47,639. The banking school kicked off with 775 trainee and we successfully graduated 666 young Africans eager to conquer.

This programme is a testament to the incredible journey that each graduating member will embark upon – a journey of growth, learning, and transformation.

To the new members of the UBA Tribe, your journey, much like mine, will be filled with moments of challenge and triumph, and each experience will contribute to your growth. Embrace these opportunities as steppingstones toward your extraordinary reality.

Embark on this journey with both eyes open to the opportunities and challenges ahead and the understanding that we are here to support and empower you every step, just as I have been fortunate to have mentors who shaped my path.

Your dedication, hard work, and pursuit of excellence will shape your future and the future of UBA and the financial industry.

Welcome to the beginning of your remarkable journey.


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