Inaugurated in September 2017, the campus in Kigali Heights, Rwanda was ALU’s second site, following the launch of its Mauritius campus in 2015.
“We have more than three times the amount of space we held in our previous campus”
“Moving to Kigali Innovation City allows us to really grow and scale up our operations,” Gaidi Faraj, the university’s dean, told The New Times.
“We have more than three times the amount of space we held in our previous campus in Kigali Heights.”
The new campus is spread over 6,500 square metres, with 21 classrooms and pods in three buildings, at the Kigali Innovation City, which ALU says is “poised to become the centre of excellence in education in Africa”.
ALU broke ground on its new Kigali campus in September 2019.
Launched by Ghanaian entrepreneur Fred Swaniker, the African Leadership University – part of the African Leadership Group – aims to develop “young leaders from more than 40 countries across the continent”.
“We wanted to provide students with that knowledge, character and skills for the 21st century,” he told The PIE in 2017.
The African Leadership Group has also recently partnered with Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust on a $1bn “Rise” Program to identify talented young people – aged 15 to 17 – with the “potential to use their talents to tackle the world’s most pressing issues”.
“Today, we face a multitude of global challenges that require courage, imagination, passion, and resilience to solve,” Swaniker said about the program.
“It is therefore hugely exciting that Rise is identifying and supporting the next generation of talented problem-solvers who can help address these challenges.”
When Swaniker unveiled his plans in 2015, he noted ALU’s mission was to bring the “university of the future” to the world, and “unleash the human potential of three million leaders by 2035” in Africa.
Carnegie Mellon University also has its African campus in Kigali Innovation City, which transitioned to a hybrid model of instruction in October.
Faraj noted that the new location will have capacity for 600 students – up from 300 at their previous location.
There is also expansion space on the land should the university meet its aims of growing the student population to 4,000 students over the next five years, The New Times noted.
“This campus is really going to allow us to achieve our goals because it gives us space where students can take ownership, and really build a community in a culture where they can experiment, ideate, and problem solve,” Faraj added.
The UK’s Glasgow Caledonian University is ALU’s founding academic and accreditation partner for its Mauritius campus.