12 million USD have been provided as an investment to UNICAF – an online platform widely known across Sun-Saharan Africa for scholarship acquisition, and offering undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in subject areas including business, psychology, education, computer science and hotel management.
The investment which is sourced mainly from CDC Group (UK government-owned development finance institution), University Ventures (US-based investment firm), and Savannah Fund (Nairobi-based early stage venture capital firm) is expected to be utilized by UNICAF to scale up its education hubs in some African cities – including Zambia, Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda.
According to UNICAF, they are hopeful that they could make education more accessible for young people as higher education is a challenge for many youth in Sub-Saharan Africa. Also, through their learning hubs across Africa, UNICAF is anticipating to create about 1,000 new jobs over the next couple of years while reaching about 60,000 students by the end of 2020.
The CDC Group made this investment as they believe in UNICAF’s impact in transforming education in Sub-Saharan Africa. David Easton, the investment director for CDC, said “Our support will help transform the lives of gifted and often underprivileged students and will make higher education – previously out of reach for the vast majority – a viable option for many.” He continued to say that the work of UNICAF in offering degrees which are of international quality but yet at a lower price and with flexibility is something that cannot be seen in sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, the organization has reached about 8,000 students and offer their students accredited degrees at a price estimated to be about 20% of the price paid in western education institutions. With reference to the work of UNICAF in Somalia and Malawi, and the organization’s extension to other countries including Cameroon and Mozambique, CDC sees it necessary to support them as some of these areas are difficult to reach.