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CNN African Start-Up Profiles Entrepreneurs in Africa


CNN’s ‘African Start-Up’ series, which highlights Africa’s SME entrepreneurs features Gossy Ukanwoke, founder of Nigeria’s first private online university, Beni American University. Gossy Ukanwoke, who has been called Nigeria’s Mark Zuckerburg, the Facebook founder, had started a social networking site when he was in school which later sparked a big idea to create Nigeria’s first private online university. The university is run by the founder with ten instructors and about two hundred students.
In the feature with ‘African Start-Up’ this week, Ukanwoke, said he was motivated by the response and audience he received when he created a social network called ‘Student Circle’ which sparked his big idea to create Nigeria’s first private online university. He tells ‘African Start-Up’, “Higher education is needed for the development of Africa. The Beni American University is referred to as American because we are building on an American curriculum and semesters. Basically, I think in global terms, not just Africa or Nigeria and my intentions are to develop a global standard university that promotes proper education.”

The continuous advances in technology have helped encourage the introduction of different platforms of education, but Nigeria still requires schools to have a physical campus and that’s why Ukanwonke is making plans to build physical structures for B.A.U.
He continued, “Hopefully very soon we are going to see buildings and streetlights on this land with students and teachers going about their activities”
Beni American University presently offers courses in Journalism, Corporate Diplomacy, Entrepreneurship and Innovation. “We still have a long way to go, we have a lot of work to do, a lot of policy wrangling too, but it’s a work in progress and we are quite happy with where we are,” concludes Ukanwoke.

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