Black Billionaire Will Pay for Education of Kidnapped Chibok Girls

Schoolgirls who earlier escaped from Boko Haram kidnappers in the village of Chibok, Nigeria, preparing to meet with local authorities June 2, 2014
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An African-American billionaire has offered to sponsor the education of 24 girls from the Chibok, Nigeria, community, including the 21 girls who were released from Boko Haram captivity in October, reports Forbes.

Private-equity titan Robert Smith will pay for the young women to attend American University of Nigeria in Yola and will pay for tuition, room, board and other related expenses at a cost of $5,000-$11,000 a year. Forbes currently estimates the net worth of the 54-year-old founder of Vista Equity Partners at $2.5 billion.


Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant on media and publicity to Nigeria’s president, announced the plans Tuesday.

“Smith has offered to pay for the education of the 21 released through negotiations and is offering to take responsibility for all the others who will hopefully be eventually set free,’’ Shehu said.

Radical Islamic militants from Boko Haram kidnapped 276 female high school students from the Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok in Borno state in April 2014.

Since their capture, 57 of the young women have escaped or been freed, according to the BBC, but there are still 219 girls believed to be in Boko Haram’s custody.


Read more at Forbes and the BBC.

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