, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 13 – Kenya’s representatives to next year’s Zain Africa Challenge show have been chosen after a gruelling knockout tournament that brought together a record 19 universities.
The five, Jomo Kenyatta, Nazarene, Egerton, Kenya Methodist and Maseno Universities will take on representatives from over seven countries across East, Central and West Africa.
This year will also see the launch of the Francophone edition of ZAC, bringing together universities from Madagascar, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Gabon, Burkina Faso and Burundi. The French program will however only air in the Francophone countries.
More than 90 universities will take part in the knockout phase across all the participating countries to select 32 teams that will take part in the international tournament next year.
Last year universities from Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone were admitted to the program joining Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia who have taken part in the show since it was launched three years ago.
Ibadan University of Nigeria made a successful debut by flooring all their opponents and took home the coveted scholars trophy and over Sh6 million in prizes. Kenyatta University finished second.
Speaking at the close of the Kenya tournament, Zain Kenya managing director Rene Meza lauded the local varsities for having displayed high standards and expressed optimism that the trophy will return to Kenya next year.
"We are very glad that the Zain Africa Challenge program is contributing immensely towards capacity building in the institutions of higher learning," he said.
The questions in the fast-paced quiz programme cover a wide range of topical areas including: history, science, African culture, geography, literature, music and current events. Each student in the winning team walks away with $5,000 and their universities get a $50,000 education grant.
The universities challenge is part of Zain’s corporate social responsibility program which largely focuses on education. Additionally, Zain Africa Challenge highlights the excellent educational opportunities at African universities.