[dropcap]C[/dropcap]entum Investment has diversified its investments portfolio into the education sector. The firm, majority owned by businessman Chris Kirubi, has partnered with globally renowned international school network, Sabis Education Network to set up an international school in Nairobi.
Sabis International School, located in Runda estate, will be built on a 20 acres of land at a cost of $20 millionKsh2 billion). Construction funds are being raised through Africa Crest Education Holdings (ACE). ACE was established in 2016 as an investment company promoting quality education across the African continent, through the development of SABIS® operated schools, with an initial target pipeline of projects in Kenya, Egypt, South Africa, Uganda and Morocco.
Centum has invested in equity ownership, real estate, agribusiness, publishing, banking, power generation. Mr Kirubi is the top shareholder with 28.642%, followed by Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation at 22.97%.
Speaking at the official launch in Nairobi, Sabis International President, Carl Bistany said the school would provide learners with world class education that prepares them for an uncertain future. “Our model is GSCE and A level, which prepares the students to conquer the world by imparting them with life-long skills,” said Mr Bistany. “We believe that Kenyan students will have to compete globally, hence the idea of opening a world-class facility in Kenya. We shall prepare them to work and open businesses anywhere in the world.”
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Sabis International School – Runda will open doors in September 2018 and has already started receiving applications, with 35 students already enrolled.
Centum Investment Company CEO James Mworia said that the school will accommodate up to 2,000 students. “The purpose-built school campus will include state-of-the-art classrooms equipped with the latest in educational technology including interactive whiteboards, a sports center, a modern performing arts theatre, a semi-Olympic pool, and extensive outdoor sports facilities,” Mworia said.
Sabis, headquartered in Beirut, has been in the schools business for 130 years, with a presence in 20 countries and over 70,000 students. The school will have a separate Kindergarten section.
The SABIS International School Nairobi is the first project undertaken by ACE. ACE plans to deploy a number of schools across Africa and draw on the expertise and experience of its partners: Investbridge Capital brings its corporate advisory experience and real estate specialities.
Centum contributes its vast experience as an active investor and developer coupled with strong local knowledge and network in the region. ACE plans to open additional K-12 international schools in Kenya as well as in African markets in Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda.
A recent study on the International Schools Database survey puts the cost of educating a child below 10 years in Nairobi’s top private schools at $10,500 (Ksh1 million) a year on average or $875 a month. Other expensive schools in the Kenyan capital are GEMS Cambridge (Ksh1.4 million a year), Brookhouse (Ksh1.4 million) and Braeburn at Ksh1.3 million. Other players in the top league in Kenya include Aga Khan and Oshwal Academy.