UBA Foundation kicks Off 'Read Africa' Project

Source: THEWILL. - thewillnigeria.com

UBA Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of United Bank for Africa Plc, on Wednesday, February 9 2011 kicked off its “Read Africa” project with reading sessions and free distribution of recommended books to students of two of Nigeria’s foremost secondary schools; Kings College and Baptist Academy based in Lagos.

Conceived and introduced last year by the Foundation, the “Read Africa” project is aimed at rekindling the reading culture among African students in post primary institutions. The project involves the provision of recommended English literature text books for junior and senior secondary schools students across Africa while UBA Executives will go to assigned schools to make formal presentation of the books and lead the reading sessions. Over 50 secondary schools in Nigeria and an additional 150 secondary schools in the other 17 African countries where UBA has presence are covered in the first phase of this project.

Flagging off the project at Kings College, Lagos, GMD/CEO UBA Mr. Phillips Oduoza said the reading culture is fast disappearing among the youths and that the “Read Africa” campaign was necessary to bridge that gap and lay a proper foundation for future success in life. Citing some of his own personal experiences growing up, Oduoza said reading was essential to the educational development of all people, and that poor reading skills "correlate heavily with" unemployment, lower wages and fewer opportunities for advancement.

The Managing Director of UBA Foundation, Ms. Ijeoma Aso, while presenting the books to the students said reading is the most fundamental skill a person can acquire and encouraged the youths to take advantage of the “Read Africa” project to widen their vision and enhance their knowledge.

L-R: Divisional Head Corporate Services, UBA, Prince Charles Ayewoh; Principal, Baptist Academy Lagos, Mrs Adebimpe Ladoba; ED, Resources, UBA, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka and MD, UBA Foundation, Ms. Ijeoma Asoh flanked by students of Baptist Academy.

The Principal of Kings College, Lagos, Otunba Dele Olapeju commended UBA for the initiative describing it as an investment in the future leaders of the country. According to him ‘Read Africa’, aligns with “our belief that success derives from the hidden treasures that knowledge unravels and this comes from reading essentially”.

At the Baptist Academy, Obanikoro, Lagos, the Executive Director, Resources, UBA Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka while leading the reading session said “learning is not just a class room function; it comes from interaction and reading” He charged the students to be focused and imbibe the culture of discipline, hard work, honesty and integrity to achieve success in life.

The Principal of Baptist Academy Obanikoro, Lagos, Mrs. Ladoba Bosede Adebimpe expressed appreciation to UBA for the ‘Read Africa’ project and said she was pleased that the bank had taken the initiative to bring back the lost heritage of reading, to schools.

United Bank for Africa Plc is one of Africa’s leading financial institutions offering universal banking to more than 7 million customer accounts across Africa and key financial centers. It currently operates in 18 African countries with presence in New York, London and Paris thus being able to effectively arbitrage Africa and African related businesses globally.