The private sector emerged as a key player in improving Africa's education landscape during a high-level dialogue held at the African Development Bank (AfDB) 2024 Annual Meeting in Nairobi.

The discussion, titled "Innovative Financing for Tertiary Education in Africa: Revitalising the Role of Private Sector," explored avenues for collaboration between businesses and universities to enhance the quality of human capital across the continent.

Equity Group's Managing Director and CEO Dr James Mwangi was a prominent voice at the event.

Dr Mwangi emphasized Equity Group's longstanding commitment to education through various initiatives.

Partnering with the Kenyan government, Mastercard Foundation, and several international organizations, Equity has provided scholarships to over 60,000 beneficiaries.

This program, along with the Equity Leaders Program (ELP), which has supported an additional 23,000 students, demonstrates the group's dedication to nurturing future generations.

Notably, ELP has even enabled students to pursue higher education at prestigious Ivy League universities in the United States.

The positive impact of these programs extends beyond education. Equity Group Foundation (EGF), the philanthropic arm of Equity Group, uses the ELP program to support medical graduates in establishing Equity Afia medical centres.

These centres provide access to affordable, high-quality healthcare, with a current network of 109 clinics in Kenya. EGF plans to expand this successful model to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania later this year.

Furthermore, EGF recognizes the crucial role of entrepreneurship in addressing Africa's socio-economic challenges.

The organization has established a network for ELP alumni in the enterprise and innovation sectors, providing them with the necessary assistance to launch and grow their businesses.

Equity Group's commitment to education is further underscored by the launch of the Africa Recovery and Resilience Plan (ARRP) in 2022.

This innovative initiative leverages private-sector resources to tackle pressing issues like job creation for youth and market access for local producers.

By investing in scholarships, Equity Group views itself as a strategic partner in nurturing the human capital needed to drive Africa's socio-economic transformation.

The discussion also featured prominent figures such as former Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, AfDB Vice President Beth Dunford, and Prof. Mohamed Belhocine, the African Union Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation.

Kikwete, who also chairs the Global Partnership for Education, urged increased national education expenditure to capitalize on Africa's young population, poised to be the world's largest future workforce.

The high-level dialogue at the AfDB meeting signifies a growing recognition of the potential for private sector involvement in improving Africa's education sector.

Equity Group's initiatives serve as a successful model for collaboration, demonstrating how businesses can play a vital role in shaping a brighter future for the continent's youth.