USIU enters hostels deal with Acorn - VIDEO


Edward Kirathe, Chief Executive Officer, Acorn Holdings Limited (L) with Prof. Paul Tiyambe Zeleza, Vice-Chancellor, USIU-Africa during the official opening of Qwetu Aberdare Heights student accommodation and the signing of the nomination agreement between USIU-AFRICA and Acorn Holdings at the Qwetu Aberdare Heights student accomodation off the USIU-Africa campus on July 27, 2021. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

Student hostels developer Acorn Holding Limited has signed a partnership with the United States International University Africa (USIU-Africa) to provide 697 students with accommodation at its Sh1 billion centre.

The Qwetu Aberdare Heights, which was constructed and furnished with an estimated Sh1 billion, provide premium, studio, cluster and twin rooms with prices ranging from Sh17,500 to Sh34,000.

Under the agreement, USIU-Africa will become an official accommodation partner with Acorn offering referral fees to the university.

“Universities in Kenya have been struggling with inadequate accommodation, which has not kept up with the rate of student enrolment over the past 30 years. It is clear that this kind of partnership and nomination agreement is the future for the provision of student accommodation for both public and private universities across Africa,” Acorn chief executive officer Edward Kirathe said.

The new facility seeks to reduce congestion at the university’s hostels, which has a current capacity of 258-beds.

“This is also in line with our efforts to build mutually beneficial partnerships with various service providers, which allows us to concentrate on our core mandate,” the USIU-Africa Vice Chancellor Paul Tiyambe Zeleza said.

Acorn is finalising a 500-bed capacity facility at the institution to increase bed capacity to 1,200. “We are seeing that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for quality education and accommodation is growing in Africa, driven by the significant wave of young people finishing high school which continues to grow year on year,” the CEO said.

Acorn, known for their purpose-built students hostel brands Qwetu and Qejani, currently runs four completed projects under the Qwetu brand in Ruaraka, Parklands, Jogoo Road and Madaraka, with a combined capacity of 1,570 rooms.

The firm last month quoted its two Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit) products worth Sh7.5 billion at the NSE.