Afe Babalola, the founder of Afe Babalola University, has made a generous donation of £10 million to King’s College, London, to establish a learning centre that will enable young Africans to access education and opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach. The centre, to be known as the Afe Babalola African Centre for Transnational Education, will offer blended and online programmes, as well as post-graduate level modules that can be used to create professionally recognized qualifications ranging from diplomas to master’s degrees.
Babalola’s donation will provide scholarships, along with other funding partners, to support qualified students. The centre will develop a bespoke programme for Africa in partnership with the University of London and an alliance of leading African universities. The modules will focus on topics that provide talented young people with society-relevant knowledge and skills that can improve their lives, communities, and futures. These topics include law, health, engineering, peace and security, and leadership.
Babalola said the project was inspired by his ability to remotely secure a degree from the University of London, as he did not have an opportunity to attend physical classes. He described literacy as the solution to many societal ills, adding that the project was in line with his passion for providing quality education.
The new centre is timely and will strengthen ties between European and African education partners, according to Shitij Kapur, president of King’s College. More than 450 million African youth are between the ages of 15-35, with less than 10% enrolled in post-secondary education, making the issue of access to quality education all the more urgent.