News & Conflicts

African Leadership University raises $30 Million in Series B Round

African Leadership University
ALU campus, Mauritius

The African Leadership University is a Mauritius-based institution with a mission to train the continent’s future leaders. Just recently, it raised $30 million in a Series B round led by Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen. The new funds will be focused on rolling out the organization’s lifelong learning centers program, ALX, which opened in Nairobi last year and is set to open in Johannesburg, Lagos, Cape Town, and Casablanca later this year.

Now with campuses in Mauritius and Rwanda, the African Leadership program has grown from what it set out as in 2004, as a not-for-profit elite high school program in South Africa called the African Leadership Academy [ALA]. In an effort to conquer Africas many resource barriers, the African Leadership programs have been focused on reinventing African high school, university, and graduate education.

According to SEC filings and consists of about $28.2 million in new cash and, according to founder, Fred Swaniker, there’s an additional $2.5 million in convertible debt.

African Leadership University

ALU Founder, Fred Swaniker

In just over three years, ALU has raised $80 million, says Swaniker with long-term backers including the Omidyar Network and Silicon Valley investors including Bob King. This is now made up of $50 million in venture funding to run its education operations, $20 million for its real estate arm to build campus properties [which it leases to the school] and another $10 million for its student finance program.

The student finance program is designed to fund students by “taking an equity stake in their future” by collecting a fixed percentage of their income over a five to ten-year period. “Unlike a traditional loan, if they don’t get employed there’s nothing to pay.”

The non-profit ALA has raised close to $100 million. And according to Swaniker’s stated goal, ALU is on a mission to train three million leaders by 2035, when African countries will collectively have the world’s largest working age population.


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