Vodafone CEO Nick Read has visited Kenya’s M-Pesa Foundation Academy during his trip to the country.
He was joined by his wife Lisa, Lord Michael Hastings of Scarisbrick CBE and Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph.
Speaking about his visit, the 55 year old explained that the academy is “Funded ultimately from the interest accrued on the float from Vodafone’s mobile money service MPesa,” and “has been built from the ground up to give Kenyan secondary students aged 14-18 the opportunity to become the next generation of leaders, with a solid background in technology and entrepreneurship.”
Opened in February 2016, the academy now has more than 670 residential students studying for their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams, alongside a range of opportunities to explore their passion for music, arts and sport.
More than half of the campus is dedicated to sport, but in addition to the traditional focus on football, athletics and swimming, there is also professional coaching in sports that many Kenyans will never have experienced, including hockey, tennis and golf.
The British businessman went on to say that: “The admission process ensures that talented but economically disadvantaged pupils from every county in Kenya are given the opportunity to study at the Academy for free. There are nine refugee students, chosen in conjunction with UNHCR, including five from the Kakuma refugee camp. The Academy has also fostered strong external relationships with businesses in Kenya, including Safaricom, Kenya Commercial Bank, NIC Bank, Oracle, Sage and Standard Chartered – and now also with three secondary schools in the US. It’s an astonishing achievement and shows what is possible when the private, government and education sectors work together.”