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Africa - Africa

Rethinking education in Africa to create leaders of tomorrow

Three million African ethical leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators and scientists in the next 40 years – that is what the African Leadership University (ALU) aims to produce. BESTSELLER FOUNDATION has invested in ALU to fuel the journey towards the achievement of that goal.

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The African continent has one of the fastest growing populations in the world and by 2040 the total working age population will exceed that of China and India combined. 1 in 5 will be under the age of 25. At the same time enrollment in tertiary institutions remains low – and for Sub-Saharan Africa to reach India’s tertiary enrolment rate by 2030, 135 new Harvard-sized universities would have to be built every year. 

 Named "The Harvard of Africa" by CNN 

Creating Innovative Higher Education in Africa
The sheer volume of what needs to be done makes it an enormous challenge – but it is a challenge that the African Leadership University (ALU) is designed to meet. The man behind ALU, Fred Swaniker, wants to completely rethink higher education to create efficient, effective and affordable models.



ALU has opened two campuses so far. The first undergraduate campus in Mauritius opened in 2015 with 60 students. A pan-African business school opened in 2016. In 2017 ALU opened an undergraduate campus in Rwanda. Collectively, ALU has now reached enrollment of 800 students from over 40 African countries. CNN named ALU “The Harvard of Africa” in recognition of its innovative approach to learning that empowers students with future proof skills they’ll need to solve the world’s greatest challenges. Over the next few years, ALU will expand its network of campuses and hubs across Africa to widen access to its educational offerings.

Grand Challenges and Great Opportunities in Africa
ALU has a dynamic curriculum where learning doesn’t only entail acquiring knowledge, numbers and facts but also learning in groups as well as through individually tailored learning processes.

In addition, all students have to integrate experience from the world outside campus to ensure that the practical application of their skills is always at the center of what they do. 

All students have to choose a mission to complete while studying at an ALU campus (and beyond) based on seven Grand Challenges and seven Great Opportunities in Africa that ALU has identified.

 

Grand challenges and great opportunities

The Grand Challenges
Urbanization
Education
Healthcare 
Climate Change
Governance
Job Creation
Infrastructure

The Great Opportunities
Agriculture
Natural Resource Management
Wildlife Conservation
Regional Integration
Arts, Design and Culture
Tourism
Empowerment of Women

The vision is that this process will create three million African leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators and scientists by 2060.

They will come from ALU’s pan African network of campuses and educational hubs, where they will be equipped to tackle the challenges and capture the opportunities that Africa will face in the next century. 

Education for all – across Africa
To expand access to education across Africa, ALU plans to open several new educational campuses and hubs across Africa that will scale to about 50,000 in the next five years. To expand affordability, ALU offers students from low income backgrounds scholarships in exchange for a percentage of their salaries after they graduate (for a period of time). This will ensure access to education for all who have the talent, the wish and desire to pursue a degree – even if they don’t have the funds to pay.  

Africa’s future leaders
Part of BESTSELLER FOUNDATION’s investment is earmarked for the school of Wildlife Conservation in Kigali. However, the lion’s share will go to developing the campus in Mauritius and open new campuses across the African continent.

Collaboration, however, goes beyond physical structures says Fred Swaniker, “I am thrilled that we have closed the partnership between the BESTSELLER FOUNDATION and ALU. I am immensely excited about this partnership - there is so much potential for a strong collaboration on many fronts and I look forward to getting started.”


 The intention with ALU is to disrupt traditional thinking in academics to create mindful, ethical, effective and pragmatic leaders within politics, entrepreneurship, innovation and science who not only fulfill a function or are paid a salary, but who take charge and will fundamentally make a lasting, positive impact in Africa for a better future for all. 


BESTSELLER FOUNDATION’s director, Kristian Sloth Petersen, is thrilled to have ALU in the portfolio;

“We are very excited to be able to fuel and follow this journey. The type of graduates that ALU envisions can make a profound, long lasting difference in Africa. Fred Swaniker’s intention with ALU is to disrupt traditional thinking in academics to create mindful, ethical, effective and pragmatic leaders within politics, entrepreneurship, innovation and science who not only fulfil a function or are paid a salary, but who take charge and will fundamentally make a lasting, positive impact in Africa for a better future for all. With this investment, my outlook on the future has brightened immensely,” says Kristian Sloth Petersen.