MTN Group has partnered with the Gordon Institute of Business Sciences (GIBS) to roll out the Spirit of Youth initiative, the institution’s leadership development programme. This is a three year partnership that will commence in 2015.
The objective of the Spirit of Youth programme is to cultivate a generation of well-rounded leaders who will think more creatively about developing tangible and practical solutions to challenges facing South Africa.
This programme, which was started in 2005, is a forum in which 11th and 12th grade learners critically engage on relevant and topical issues that affect the country and the communities they reside in. Learners are selected on the basis of academic excellence, demonstrable leadership qualities and commitment to their communities.
This year long programme which caters for rural, urban, township and independent schools, currently serves 350 learners across three provinces.
MTN has pledged to develop a mobile-optimised content portal which learners and school teachers can access to download all programme material.
Sifiso Dabengwa, MTN Group Chief Executive Officer, says MTN sees its sponsorship of the Spirit of Youth initiative as playing midwife to a socio-economic legacy that will be left by the participants in the programme.
“There is a lot of synergies between The Spirit of Youth and MTN’s strategic focus of using connectivity to facilitate access to quality education through its various Foundations across its footprint in Africa and the Middle East. The Spirit of Youth resonates with MTN’s values of Leadership, Can Do and Innovation. It is through active participation in programmes such as the Spirit of Youth that MTN can help to develop a future leadership cadre that will take the country forward,” says Dabengwa.
Shireen Chengadu, executive director for the Centre for Leadership and Dialogue said: “South Africa is a dynamic nation of opportunity and great potential but a land characterised by growing poverty and inequality. The role of business, government and society and effective partnering of these key stakeholders is vital to our future. This partnership with MTN is true testament to this and will a long way in developing tomorrow’s leaders.”
The programme runs in three phases and classes take place every Saturday over the course of the year. Running alongside this youth development programme is the Career Expo where 2 300 top performing from Grade 11 and 12 will be exposed to various career opportunities. Learners will get an opportunity to interact with various exhibitors, which range from top corporate firms showcasing their employment opportunities at the Career Expo that will take place 10 May 2015.