by Lekan Olanrewaju
Ever heard of the guy tech-heads are calling Nigeria’s Mark Zuckerberg? No? Well, he’s a Nigerian entrepreneur who is changing the way students in Africa receive education through online resources. 23 years old Gossy Ukanwoke has created the Students Circle Network, an academic social network platform and also plans to launch an online university for African students called Beni American University.
The Student’s Circle Network – which was profiled in the latest edition of Y! magazine – was launched in 2010, and has seen much success since then, but Ukanwoke still sees a gap in the educational systems in Africa which needs to be filled.
His new startup, Beni American University is aimed at bringing quality education to African children and adults who want to gain a post secondary diploma or degree.
The founder recognises that many people in Africa who want to attend universities often cannot, due to infrastructure limitations, and thus decided an online university would solve that problem.
Ukanwoke’s hope is that an online institution that doesn’t require going to a physical location eliminates issues such as overcrowding and a limit to the amount of people who can attend.
Students who enroll in the university will receive perks such as a PC and internet access.
The university’s focus will be on emerging subjects like technology, web 2.0 and entrepreneurship.
Ukanwoke also plans to expand to Central America and Asia in the future.