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Serious skills, education challenges for growing African labour force met by innovative higher education e-learning solution

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the multinational professional services network, estimates that by 2040 Africa is expected to have the world’s largest labour force, ahead of even India and China. But as of today, it is a labour force with some serious skills and education challenges.

With the cost of higher education and travel representing a major hurdle to the continent’s 1bn+ under 19s, a growing proportion of students are turning to eportals such as those provided by UNICAF to meet their objectives.

Founded in 2012 by Dr Nicos Nicolaou, UNICAF partners with UK, US and European universities to deliver accredited Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate Degree courses via its sophisticated e-learning platform.unicaf

To date the organisation has awarded more than $35m worth of scholarships and cut the cost of attending university for thousands of sub-Saharan transnational students by up to 80%, making higher education – something that has been out of reach for the vast majority of the population – a viable and very real option.

Expertise in programme development, marketing, admissions, technical support, and student services help extend market reach for partner universities and underpin high levels of student enrolment, support the online and blended learning experience, boost graduation rates and deliver on employability.

Partners include the University of South Wales (UK), the Marymount California University (USA) and the University of Nicosia (Europe).

In July this year, UNICAF opened its first university in Malawi. Approved by the country’s National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), Unicaf University aims to become the leading higher education institution in sub-Saharan Africa, recognised for its outstanding contribution to teaching, learning and research, all housed in a state-of-the-art learning environment. It offers a broad range of on-campus and online undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes at affordable prices, as well as internationally recognised qualifications in partnership with universities in Europe, the UK and the US.unicaf

Commenting on these recent developments Dr Nicos Nicolaou, said “Seven in ten African firms surveyed by Ernst and Young, global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services, are recruiting to support planned growth yet “vacancies are taking longer to fill and employee turnover is high.” The consultancy also reported that Africa has the fastest-growing middle-class in the world, accounting for nine of the 15 fastest growing economies in the world.”

“If Africa is to maintain its lead, it is imperative that higher education becomes a more affordable option enabling the continent to create a strong, well-qualified workforce to meet the needs of its growing economy. UNICAF has been an innovator in this space and has plans to enrol 60,000 students by the year 2020
Students can apply online at


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