Welcome to James Hope University

James Hope University, located in Lekki, Lagos, is committed to the highest standards of international education. We aspire to integrate global models of academic excellence to advance the knowledge economy, further innovations and breakthroughs, and rapidly propel the economic and sociocultural lives of humanity. Through strategic partnerships with leading global academic institutions and crucial enablers, JHU is launching its School of Business, one distinguished by academic excellence and cutting-edge formation of future professionals. Funding of JHU is robust. The University is being built by Mr. Jim Ovia, Founder of Zenith Bank, through his nonprofit foundation. The university will pilot its MBA programs in January 2024.

Inaugural Class
Unique Executive MBA Program
Hectares of Land


The mission of James Hope University is to educate and inspire men and women to excel in every aspect of life, and to exert lasting positive impacts on the world.


James Hope University aspires to endow generations of graduates with top-notch transformative education, to enable innovations and discoveries, propel the knowledge economy, and shape a better world.

Our Founder

Jim Ovia, CFR

Jim Ovia is the founder and chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, one of Africa’s largest banks with over $24 billion in assets and shareholders’ funds of over US$3 billion as of June 2022. Zenith Bank is a global brand listed on the London Stock Exchange and the Nigerian Stock Exchange. In addition to major operations in Nigeria and other West African countries, the Bank has sizeable operations in London and Dubai.

Jim Ovia is the founder and chancellor of James Hope University Lekki, Lagos, which was recently approved by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to offer postgraduate degrees in business courses. James Hope University will commence activities in January 2024.

Through his philanthropy—the Jim Ovia Foundation—he has shown the importance he accords good education. In support of the Nigerian youth, the Jim Ovia Foundation offers scholarships to students in need through the Mankind United to Support Total Education (MUSTE) initiative. Most of the beneficiaries of Jim Ovia Foundation scholarship are now pursuing careers as accountants, business administrators, doctors, engineers, and lawyers, among other professions.

He is the author of Africa Rise and Shine, published by Forbes Books. The biography, which encapsulates Zenith Bank’s meteoric rise, details the secrets of Jim Ovia’s success in doing business in Africa.

Jim Ovia is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School (OPM), University of Louisiana (MBA), and Southern University, Louisiana, (B.Sc. Business Administration).

He is a member of the World Economic Forum Community of Chairpersons as well as a champion of the Forum’s EDISON Alliance.

In recognition of Jim Ovia’s contributions to the country’s economic development, the Federal Government of Nigeria honoured him with Commander of the Federal Republic, CFR in 2022. In May of the same year, the Federal Government also conferred the National Productivity Order of Merit (NPOM) Award on Jim Ovia. He was also conferred with the national awards of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) in 2000 and Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) in 2011, both testaments to his visionary leadership and contributions to Nigeria’s financial services sector.

The future

James Hope University aims to become a global institution, building on its upcoming reputation as a provider of world-class business education globally in Lagos, Nigeria, the largest economy and an emerging market in Africa. James Hope University is open to recruiting international students to deliver unparalleled, world-class educational programming to the future leaders of Nigeria and West Africa.

Our Impact

Over the next decade, the University will expand its academic programming and service to the community through forming partnerships with top global industry change-makers and fellow educational institutions. Our ambition is to reimagine how institutions of higher education can serve and transform their regions and the world through providing unparalleled, academically rigorous degrees.

We also aim to grow the international community on our campus in Lagos to become the institution of choice for students from Nigeria, other regions of Africa, and around the world.