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Equity Bank Chess Open 2016.

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Chess players in Kenya and the neighbouring countries are looking forward to the long weekend of “Jamhuri Day” (Independence Day) when the inaugural Equity Bank Chess Open takes place.

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Poster for the event.

15272028_10208017001282368_6899717981681607829_oThe prize fund is a recording breaking KES 210,000 (USD 2,100) with the top prize being KES 50,000 (USD 500).

A strong contingent of players from Uganda and Tanzania are expected to turn up for the event to give the Kenyans a tough fight for the top prizes.

It is interesting to note that this is the 2nd time that Equity Bank are coming forward to support chess which is a welcome move for this small and rapidly growing sport.

Equity Bank have over the past 30 years played a key role in the transformation of the Kenyan financial sector.  It now boasts of over 9 million customers in over 6 countries and has an asset base of approximately USD 3.8 billion.

The one thing that stands out for me when I hear about Equity Bank is their “Equity Group Foundation Scholarship Program” which started in 1998 and their “Wings to Fly Program” which started in 2011.  In these programs academically gifted children from disadvantaged backgrounds are provided with scholarships that cover both their secondary and university education as well.  Some of the beneficiaries are studying at prestigious universities such as Harvard, Yale, MIT and the London School of Economics.

I expect a seismic positive change in various spheres of Kenyan life when these youngsters return to Kenya over the next couple of years.

To give you the scale of the above programs these are the numbers.  Over 5,600 students in secondary school and over 1,000 students in universities.

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Dr. James Mwangi, Chief Executive Officer of Equity Bank. Photo credit “Equity Bank Kenya” Facebook Page.

For more information on Equity Bank please check out the following websites;

Equity Bank Group

Equity Group Foundation