Africa has the world's youngest population. The region’s prosperity depends on all her people having access to quality education, skills training and lifelong learning opportunities. But sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of education exclusion globally. About 77% of children are enrolled in primary school on average. However, about a third of children between the ages of 12 and 14 are not in school, and over half of sub-Saharan Africa’s children aged 15 to 17 are not in school.
Standard Bank’s CSI initiatives prioritise education across our countries of operation. In 2019, we invested over R91 million in CSI funding in educational programmes across our countries of operation. Examples of what we achieved in Uganda, South Africa and Angola are described in this report.
Uganda’s official primary school completion rate is just 51%, while the lower secondary completion rate is 25.6%. Only about 5% of the population enrols in tertiary education (World Bank, 2017). Stanbic Uganda believes that a better tomorrow begins with supporting education. We focus on four critical areas to support improved education and skills development: literacy, financial literacy, life skills and entrepreneurship.
Standard Bank South Africa launched Feenix Trust, an NPO, in June 2017 to make tertiary education more accessible for economically disadvantaged students. Over the past three years, Feenix has raised over R35 million, providing support for over 1 000 students. Standard Bank has extended our sponsorship of Feenix beyond the three years to which we originally committed.
The platform enables university students in need of funding for current or historic debt to create profiles and request donations toward their education journey. As a crowd-funding platform, Feenix enables individuals and businesses to take meaningful action to solve social problems. Funders can donate directly to a student. If they prefer not to select a student, or want to improve their B-BBEE scorecard, they can contribute to the Feenix Pool Fund. Funding in the pool is divided to ensure at least 75% goes toward black, coloured and Indian students, 50% goes toward female students and preference is given to students who are active and involved.
We encourage continuous learning and development to ensure our people are equipped to meet the demands of a rapidly changing, increasingly digital world of work.
We invest in training and development at all levels, enabling us to build a strong succession pipeline of future leaders. Our online learning platform ensures the availability of innovative skills development tools and learning content to all our employees.