North Africa



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A Tunisian education

Education is a form of alchemy: it can transform someone’s life. It can improve job prospects, generate opportunities and alter a future for the better. Across the world, holders of bachelors’ degrees revel in the potential the title holds. Francophone Africa has a US$350bn economy with a population of some 300 million and over three million students enrolled in higher education. Tunisia and Morocco stand out as beacons of education excellence for students looking for a quality Francophone education but who are unable to study in France.

Established in [December 2014], Emerging Markets Knowledge Holdings (EMKH) is a tertiary education buy-and-build platform serving these North African students. EMKH’s anchor asset is Universite Centrale Group (UCG), Tunisia’s largest private tertiary education provider. With a unique consumer proposition that caters to middle income students, UCG was founded in 1991 by the Ben Turkia family, who have successfully managed the business since inception. UCG has some 4,000 higher education degree students across four universities (Heath, Engineering, Business studies/law, and Communications) and approximately 1,500 students in its two affiliated further education colleges.

Tunisian society has always valued education and has a well-deserved reputation for high standards of education quality, sought after by students across Francophone Africa. With 37% of Tunisians aged between 18 and 23 currently enrolled in tertiary education, it has the highest Gross Enrolment Ratio (“GER”) in Africa, where the norm is under 10%.

Actis has built up extensive domain knowledge in the education sector; backing the trend for emerging market consumers to secure their own and their children’s future quality of life by investing in their education. Actis has invested over US$400m in recent years in the education sector, in businesses including China PSE and EIC Group in China; and Universidade Cruzeiro do Sul and CNA in Brazil.