African School of Economics (ASE) Expands to East Africa with a New Campus in Zanzibar

The African School of Economics (ASE), a prominent Pan-African university, has announced a significant expansion with the launch of its first East African campus in Fumba Town, Zanzibar. This marks a new chapter in the university’s mission to empower Africa’s next generation of scholars, researchers, policymakers, and entrepreneurs.

ASE’s Expansion and Vision

  • Location: The new campus in Zanzibar represents ASE’s first foray into East Africa.
  • Focus: The campus will be a hub for STEM and social science education, featuring three departments: the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, and the Engineering School.
  • Technology Emphasis: Aligning with the Silicon Zanzibar initiative, ASE aims to integrate into the tech ecosystem, nurturing tech startups and contributing to technology development and commercialization.

Collaborations and Programs

  • Partnerships: ASE is collaborating with global institutions like Princeton University and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras.
  • Academic Offerings: The university will provide a range of graduate and undergraduate degree programs.

Recruitment and Global Reach

  • Faculty and Students: ASE plans to recruit 50 elite faculty members and 900 students globally, ensuring a high standard of education for competing on a global stage.

Comments from Leadership

  • Professor Leonard Wantchekon, Founder and President of ASE: He highlighted ASE’s Pan-African vision and the importance of creating an enabling policy environment for STEM talent.
  • Professor Rodney Priestley, Princeton University: He acknowledged ASE’s role as an incubator and its contributions to global education, citing an ASE alum’s recent success.

ASE’s Historical Impact

  • Founding and Purpose: Established in Benin in 2014, ASE addresses the challenges of African representation in research and the training of top-tier talent.
  • Achievements: With campuses in Benin, Côte D’Ivoire, Nigeria, and now Zanzibar, ASE has over 2,000 students and alumni. It’s recognized for its research quality, faculty caliber, and graduate placements.
  • Global Placements: A significant portion of ASE graduates have been placed in top global PhD programs and prestigious positions in various sectors.

Support from Zanzibar’s Government

  • Honourable Minister Lela Mussa, The Minister of Education for Zanzibar: She expressed support for ASE’s role in Zanzibar’s educational transformation and national development vision.

The Broader Impact

  • Economic and Innovation Zones: ASE’s new campus will contribute to the development of free economic zones and charter cities across Africa, attracting talent and fostering innovation.
  • Collaboration Opportunities: Entities like Wasoko, Africa’s largest B2B e-commerce network, see ASE’s presence as transformative for developing tech talent.

Recognitions and Awards

  • Global Economy Prize: Prof. Leonard Wantchekon was awarded in June 2023 for his visionary work in establishing ASE and his contributions to development economics.


The ASE’s expansion to Zanzibar is a monumental step in advancing education in Africa, promising to shape the continent’s academic landscape and contribute significantly to its socio-economic development.


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