Kigali, Rwanda, June 3, 2008— Rwanda is working to improve enrollment in its schools and give people the skills they need to drive the country’s growing economy. To help make that goal a reality, IFC and Banque Rwandaise de Développement recently signed an agreement to help improve the business environment for private education. The deal, part of a pledge EVP and CEO Lars Thunell made to the government when visiting the country last year, will enable the bank to sharply increase its investment in schools, and is the first initiative of its kind in Rwanda.
IFC will invest up to 2.6 billion Rwanda francs in a risk-sharing facility, which will enable the Banque Rwandaise de Développement to increase its investments in schools to 7 billion francs. IFC is also designing an advisory program to help strengthen the financial, management, and educational capacities of private schools in Rwanda and develop an independent provider of education services.
IFC Director Guy Ellena noted, “Working with a local financial institution enables IFC to reach a larger number of schools than we could have done directly. This investment will help Banque Rwandaise de Développement lower its risk. We hope this approach can be replicated throughout Africa.”
In addition, IFC will provide advisory services to help the bank build capacity for conducting due diligence of educational institutions and monitor its portfolio. The transaction will provide local operators with access to long-term financing, enable them to build additional facilities and purchase equipment, and address some of the other challenges they are facing.
The country has made many great gains in the education sector in recent years by improving the reach and quality of its school curriculum and introducing capitation grants. At over 95 percent, its net enrollment rate in primary schools is already among the highest in the world. But there’s much more to be done to improve enrollment in secondary schools and give Rwanda’s people the skills they need to drive the country’s growing economy.
Rwandan Minister of Finance and Economic Planning James Musoni said at the signing in Kigali, “Education is one of the main pillars of Rwanda’s development and I am glad that IFC is contributing to the development of this sector in Rwanda. We look forward to continuing to partner with IFC to further our economic development.”
IFC Senior Manager Jean Philippe Prosper, who signed on behalf of IFC, said, “It is our hope and belief that the investment and advisory services will provide local operators with access to long-term financing, enable them to build additional facilities and purchase equipment, and address some of the other challenges that they have been facing.”
Health and Education Department, IFC