Driving Growth in Africa through Higher Education Learning

Nigerian entrepreneur Gossy Ukanwoke recognized the lack of higher education learning in African countries like Nigeria and experienced these inadequacies himself when he pursued his own university education. Viewing this challenge as an opportunity, he set out to launch two institutions that would provide access to education for all Africans. Tens of thousands of students later, Ukanwoke is successfully driving growth in Africa through higher education learning, technology, and online platforms.

“It is my life’s mission to provide affordable, quality and relevant education to as many young people as I can.”

Turning Challenges into Opportunities

THE CHALLENGE. The university education and professional learning age range of 18-35 comprises 43% of the Nigerian population, but Nigeria does not have enough universities to support this large youth population. The existing universities have also not caught up to the level of education students are seeking and much the learning is based on a now irrelevant curriculum. This results in degrees from Nigerian universities being inadequate compared to degrees from other countries, and inhibits the chances of students being able to find employment in global markets. As a result, students spend billions on schooling outside of the country. Statistics show a wide gap to be bridged, and in it a viable market opportunity for growth in Africa.

THE PROCESS. Ukanwoke was fortunate to attend private schools and his parents worked very hard to send him out of country for university, after his multiple attempts to study in Nigeria turned out difficult because his universities of choice had no space, even though he had good scores. He decided to make it his life’s mission to provide affordable, quality and relevant education for all Africans. His first step was to found Beni American University Online in 2012, which was the first online institution in West Africa. From there, he founded Beni American University as a liberal arts university and then expanded to BAU Research and Development as a way to reinvent learning in Africa by providing Advisory, Financing and Research that equip universities to provide the best possible learning to its students. Ukanwoke’s last step was founding EduTech in 2017, which helps progressive public institutions deliver online learning to as many students as possible through its technology platform.

THE RESULT. The combination of BAU Online, BAU R&D, and EduTech has provided access to higher learning education for thousands of Nigerians and Africans. BAU reaches approximately 15,000 students per year and EduTech alone has had 16,000+ enrollments. Ukanwoke’s devotion to education and entrepreneurial success has earned him several prestigious awards, including being recognized as a global Accelerating Entrepreneur by the advisory firm Ernst and Young. It is Ukanwoke’s personal goal with EduTech to provide over 1 million students in Africa with Higher Education learning by 2025.



The history of BAU Research and Development stems from the belief that equality in access to higher education is needed for the development of growth in Africa. BAU R&D advises, invests and creates research opportunities for institutions based on their needs, to match established global standards.

Edutech is a technology company focused on helping African traditional universities take their on-campus degree programs online through the implementation of the very best of technology, process management, recruitment, admissions and advisory.

Creating Access to Education


Using Technology and Entrepreneurship to Create Access to Education

Gossy Ukanwoke is a Higher Education Investor, Founder at Beni American University and is widely recognized globally for his support and contributions to the growth of education technology. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Information Management Systems from Girne American University in 2013. After he founded Beni American University in 2012, his continued impact and success led him to launch EduTech and also to invest equity in Rhema University.

Ukanwoke’s positive experience with higher education learning motivated him to help others have access to the same opportunities. It is his mission to provide graduates, professionals and executives with the best global learning they need to get better jobs, do better jobs, create their own businesses, and take up opportunities that can afford them and Nigeria as a whole a better standard of living.

“I grew up in rural Nigeria. Many of my peers attended public institutions that lacked the proper facilities to provide adequate learning.”

With BAU R&D and EduTech, Ukanwoke aims to provide a world class learning experience on Nigerian soil that equips graduates with the tools to tackle the present and future challenges of Nigeria and the world at large, thereby leading to a reduction in the revenue lost due to education tourism. As BAU takes off from its physical campus and provides what it hopes will be the best tertiary education learning experience for young people in Nigeria, it will produce great students that will go on to take on positions in business and public sectors, and some will become entrepreneurs. However, Ukanwoke realizes the lingering reality that Africa suffers a huge leadership problem may not go away. In the next decade he hopes to take on that gap by actively getting into public sector leadership in Nigeria.


Gossy Ukanwoke views his fellow Harambeans as exceptional people creating disruptions in a multitude of sectors:

“I want to be working closely with such a great selection of young visionary entrepreneurs and changemakers that are transforming our continent to the future that we so desire. The Harambean vision closely aligns with my personal vision to bring together high impact social and business leaders on the continent. More than anything else, I will make greater progress in my mission in close collaboration of other members and taking advantage of all the opportunities that the Alliance may provide.”
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