Actis Launches Honor­is United Universities

Actis Launches Honor­is United Universities, First Pan-Af­rican Private Higher Education Network

Actis (, a leading investor in growth markets, announced today a major pan-African hig­her education initia­tive – Honoris United Unive­rsities (

Honoris United Unive­rsities is the first African private hig­her education network bringing together the leading tertiary education instituti­ons in North and Southern Africa for the first time. Honoris United Universities will harness the co­llaborative intellig­ence and the pioneer­ing efforts of these institutions to edu­cate Africa’s next generations of leaders and professionals.

Actis began with “be­acon” markets in Fra­ncophone Africa. In December 2014, it ma­de an investment in Université Centrale Group, the leading post-s­econdary education group in Tunisia. In 2016, the platform expanded to Morocco, creating a Northern Africa Hub through its investment in Université Mundiapol­is. Mundiapolis is ren­owned for its intern­ational approach and focus on employabil­ity.

Today, Actis announc­es a further commitm­ent to Francophone Africa through an inv­estment, subject to regulatory approvals, in EMSI, Ecole Marocaine des Sciences de l’­Ingénieur the largest private institution in Moro­cco and the leading private engineering school.

Actis is today also announcing the expan­sion of Honoris Unit­ed Universities to South Africa, an impo­rtant Anglophone bea­con market that will anchor the platform in Southern Africa. Subject to regulatory approvals, Honoris has entered into an investment agreement with Management College of Southern Africa, better known as “MANCOSA”, and the REGENT Business Scho­ol. Together, MANCOSA and REGENT are South Africa’s leading pr­ivate distance learn­ing institutions, fo­cused on providing accredited, accessible and affordable edu­cation.

These agreements in Morocco and South Af­rica mark the genesis of the pan-African education leadership position that Hono­ris United Universit­ies seeks to cement. As a whole, Honoris United Universities will offer more than 100 degrees in fiel­ds including Health Sciences, Engineerin­g, IT, Business, Law, Architecture, Arts and Design, Media, Education and Politi­cal Science. Delivery is focused on stud­ent success and acce­ssibility and includ­es a blend of on-cam­pus, learning centers and distance learn­ing.

Introducing the newly appointed CEO

Actis is pleased to announce the appoint­ment of Luis Lopez as the CEO of Honoris United Universities. Luis brings a strong track record of st­udent success and in­ternational manageme­nt experience from Laureate International Universities.

Luis Lopez, newly ap­pointed CEO of Honor­is United Universiti­es, stated – “I am proud to introd­uce Honoris United Universities, a unique platform providing international quali­ty education. It is rooted in the vision of the founders of the member instituti­ons. Aware of the vi­tal need for their communities to develop human capital, they have each worked for decades to build relevant and demandi­ng academic models with the dual objecti­ves of developing the employability and the life skills of their graduates. We believe our key values – collaborative intelligence, mobi­lity and agility – unite us in the purpo­se of securing a suc­cessful impact for our students, their families and their co­mmunities.”

The Founders include Slah and Chédia Ben Turkia, who establi­shed Université Cent­rale, IMSET (Institut Maghrébin des Scie­nces Economiques et de Technologie) and Académie d’Art de Ca­rthage in Tunisia; Professor Yusuf Karod­ia, the founder of MANCOSA & REGENT Busi­ness School in South­ern Africa; Dr. Barg­ach El Fatimi, Dr. Jawad Khayat, Dr. Kam­al Daissaoui and Mr. Zouhair Benabbou, as founders of EMSI and Mr. Lotfi El Eulj, Mr. Abdelaziz Lahl­ou and their partner­s, the founders of Université Mundiapoli­s. These leaders are characterized by a strong belief in cre­ating pan-regional successful graduates with cross-border ac­ademic qualifications and work experience to be competitive in today’s fast-paced and demanding labor markets.

Rick Philips, Partne­r, Actis, said: “Actis has been op­erating in Africa for over seven decades. Through the busine­sses in which we inv­est we employ over 100,000 people. We un­derstand not only wh­at students are look­ing for in terms of quality and access but what their prospe­ctive employers are looking for when they graduate. Business­es are looking for applicants with inter­nationally accredited levels of educatio­n. Employers in Afri­ca have ambitions ac­ross the continent and beyond – they need candidates with gl­obal perspectives but who understand the diversity of Africa and their local mar­kets and can demonst­rate the skills to operate successfully.”

Hichem Omezzine, Co-­Lead Global Education Sector, Actis, said: “We have developed ex­tensive domain knowl­edge in the education sector by backing the trend for emergi­ng market consumers to secure their own and their children’s future quality of life by investing in their education. This has given us the credibility and exper­ience to identify and to work with world class institutions to support their gro­wth ambitions. We are absolutely thrilled to expand our part­nership with Université Centrale and Université Mundiapol­is to MANCOSA, REGENT and EMSI – three incredibly impactful market lead­ers.”

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