Members of The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK), in a Members’ Special General Meeting on 11th March, voted overwhelmingly to enter into a strategic partnership with Maarifa Education that will, subject to regulatory approval, lead to Maarifa making a US$17.5 million investment in KCA University.
The proposed investment will help KCA University to make substantial improvements to its programmes, campuses, and service offerings, so it can compete more effectively within the growing Kenyan higher-education market and attract a greater number of qualified students. The investment will also address the near-term capital requirements and provide KCA University with the expansion capital it needs to enable it to invest in core infrastructure, systems, faculty development and student facilities. Maarifa also plans to establish a Foundation with seed funding of US$1 million, through which KCA University will grant scholarships to financially needy students.
Commenting on the news, CPA Benson Okundi, Chairman of ICPAK, said, “This is a great day for education in Kenya and for the next generation of our business and accounting talent. As the Sponsor of KCA University, ICPAK and its members are proud to support this proposal, to ensure the continued success of KCA University and to support its transformation into a truly best-in-class university. We have found the right blend of vision, values, expertise and financial resources in Maarifa to achieve our goals.”
Maarifa Co-Founder and CEO Scott R. Royster said, “We sincerely thank the ICPAK members for their vote of confidence. Subject to our proposal being granted the necessary regulatory approvals, we look forward to fulfilling our promise to work together with KCA University management and its Council to help transform the university into an outstanding institution with the resources it needs to compete locally and beyond in an increasingly global education market.”
Maarifa is a specialist education company that invests in and partners with universities across Africa to expand access to high-quality higher education that produces graduates with the knowledge, skills and attitudes required in today’s world. Maarifa’s founders are passionately committed to building quality African education institutions that serve the students, alumni, faculty and staff, as well as the communities and countries in which the universities operate.
The proposed partnership heralds a new era for Kenyan private education showcasing how private sector investment and engagement can significantly increase access to the financial and operational resources universities need and, in so doing, fulfil their social missions and benefit the communities in which they operate. The KCA University and Maarifa partnership, with its innovative structure, will pave the way for further private investment in the Kenyan tertiary education market.
Mike Eldon, Chairman of the KCA University Council, said of the vote, “This is a momentous occasion for KCA University, as it will enable us to offer all round excellence to the students, the staff and the wider community. It also marks a successful end to the Council’s three year search process for a partner to support the university’s growth and development. Having Maarifa as a strategic partner will secure our future and provide the Council members and faculty with the significant support we need to transform the university into a leading, internationally recognised tertiary education provider. I also wish to acknowledge the critical role played by the KCA University Board of Trustees and the ICPAK Council in progressing this transaction to the advanced stage it has now reached.”