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US: African Leadership International to acquire college alternative Holberton

Fred Swaniker, founder and chief executive of African Leadership International
Fred Swaniker, founder and chief executive of African Leadership International

African Leadership International (ALI) is acquiring Holberton, a Silicon Valley-founded, project-based, college alternative, educating software engineers and headquartered in San Francisco.

ALI is part of the Johannesburg-based African Leadership Group of institutions dedicated to developing three million African entrepreneurial leaders by 2035.

The acquisition is expected to be completed in the third quarter. As part of the transaction, the Holberton School network will be separated into an independent organisation.

ALI partnered with Holberton’s advanced technology programme two years ago to scale up the training of software engineers in Africa. Over the past year, more than 95,000 students have enrolled in ALI’s ALX skills acceleration programme.

Fred Swaniker, founder and chief executive of ALI, said: “Through our combined efforts to date, we have been able to deliver high-quality learning experiences to young Africans at massive scale. This is unlike anything I have experienced in my 20 years of human capital development on the continent. With our current trajectory, I am confident that in the next decade we will develop millions of African digital leaders who can solve many of Africa’s greatest challenges. Our ambition is to become the largest single source of technology talent for the world.”

Julien Barbier, co-founder of Holberton, commented: “This acquisition will help address the global shortage of technology skills by combining our respective strengths with African talent paving the way. This collaborative, project-based environment makes every student workforce ready after graduating. Our software engineers will empower organisations around the world to rapidly scale their technology talent requirements.”

East Wind Advisors, Winston & Strawn, and Mazars provided financial, legal and accounting advice to ALI, respectively.

Julien Barbier, co-founder of Holberton
Julien Barbier, co-founder of Holberton

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