The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has approved an eight-year $40-million corporate loan to the Afe Babalola University (ABUAD) in Ado Ekiti (Nigeria), to finance part of the university’s expansion plan.
According to the Bank, the project will make ABUAD a centre of excellence for tertiary education in Africa, “expanding access to high-quality education to over 10,000 students per year”.
Nigeria is home to 138 universities of which 59 are private. In 2014, only 30% of eligible high school applicants gained admission to universities. The capacity constraints prevent more than one million young people from gaining admission to a tertiary institution in Nigeria each year. At the same time, the quality of the curriculum offered by most of the universities in Nigeria has not been producing market-ready graduates, as over 75% of Nigerian young graduates are not fully employed.
“Education is one of the booming private sector engagements in Africa at this time. The Bank’s support to the sector will help leverage quality education, especially in science and technology,” said Senior Vice-President Frannie Léautier, adding that the Bank will be exploring other avenues and scholarships in support of education in the disciplines critical to Africa’s development.