The graduation of the 2019 cohort of The African Women Leadership Academy (TAWLA) graduates was hosted on Friday 13th December 2019 at the Stanbic Bank Botswana AcceleR8 Incubator, amid great cheer for the incredible milestone this represents for both organisations. There are 35 participants, comprising 25 young women and 10 young men, in the current TAWLA cohort, all of whom were celebrated for having successfully taken part in the TAWLA Leadership and Mentorship Programme, which focuses on building character and confidence, enhancing self-esteem, building resilience, leadership skills training, entrepreneurship and life skills development.

Amongst the key guests in attendance was Secretary for Development and Budget in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Mrs. Grace Muzila, who gave the keynote address. She urged the class of 2019 to be deliberate in applying the skills and experience they have acquired to make a positive impact in their societies.

Said Stanbic Bank Botswana Head of Marketing, Stephanie Stoneham, “Botswana is our home and we drive her growth is our brand purpose and this, for us, means enabling Batswana to move forward and progress in life. This may be through an investment in initiatives such as TAWLA to help them move our youth forward and spearhead their legacies. We are here for the highs and the lows, and we are a partner for progress, for our youth are our future, and we remain committed to them.”

Speaking on behalf of TAWLA, Dr. Maud Dikobe, shared more about the organisaton’s vision. “TAWLA is a non-profit organisation established in 2010 to empower youths through leadership skills training, mentoring and creating networking opportunities. The TAWLA networking programme also brings together young women and men in leadership positions – as mentors and role models – to provide guidance and encouragement for boys and girls to aspire to be successful future leaders. TAWLA also provides awareness on gender-based violence (GBV), alcohol and substance abuse, and other issues that confront youth through workshops, seminars and discussion forums.” The schools represented by the mentees, she noted, include St Joseph’s College, Gaborone Senior School, Mogoditshane Senior School, Legae Academy, Livingstone Kolebeng College, Ledumang Senior School, Naledi SenIor School, Rainbow School.

Stanbic Bank Botswana further re-iterated on the night that they have dedicated 1% of profits, which translates to P6 million over the next 3 years, towards the youth employability and entrepreneurship drive. Continued Stoneham, “As a brand, we believe partnership is critical in eradicating youth unemployment. Our support for TAWLA, which is itself a long-term one, is very much a part of this. We are proud to have played an active role in contributing to their growth over the duration of the programme and believe their involvement in the programme will unlock more opportunities to keep them Moving Forward.”

 With a firm believe that our youth are our future, Stanbic Bank Botswana continues to invest in making progress real for the youth of Botswana.

Motswana Entrepreneur Magazine ,