The African Development Bank (ADB) has granted Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) a $40 million corporate loan to finance an eight-year expansion.
The Nation reports that the loan granted the institution by ADB is in a bid to make the institution a centre of excellence for tertiary education in Africa that will specialise in nurturing entrepreneurial and leadership skills in young persons.
The Nation reports that according to a press statement from the bank, the plan will help expand the capacity of ABUAD to offer high-quality education to over 10,000 students per year. The loan is expected to help the university realise its ambitious vision of doubling its student capacity by 2025 while having strong demonstration effect for the development of the tertiary education sector in Africa.
The project, which was approved by the ADB Board of Directors on October 19, 2016, is the bank’s first private-sector transaction in the education sector.
The statement reads: “The expansion plan consists of construction of new facilities – including a 400-bed teaching hospital, an industrial research park, and a small hydro power (SHP) installation (1.1 MW), and capacity strengthening of ABUAD’s administrative and governance structures.
“Beyond doubling ABUAD’s current student capacity, the project will create 250 new staff positions, as well as about 1,000 temporary jobs across the construction, supplies and consulting in the value chain. Full/ partial scholarships and other forms of substantial financial aid will be provided to over 500 students beneficiaries during the life of the loan.”
At the end of the project, ABUAD is expected to generate over 12,000 high-quality and employable graduates, in addition to over 2,400 trained farmers who will benefit from the university’s farmers training programmes, The Nation reports.
According to The Nation, ADB Senior Vice-President Frannie Léautier was quoted as saying: “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.”
She added that the ADB will be exploring other avenues and scholarships in support of education in the disciplines critical to Africa’s development.
Source: The Nation