Reducing Poverty, Improving Lives

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1 Reducing Poverty, Improving Lives Better Education for Children in Africa: IFC s Unique Combination of Investment and Advisory Services Shows Results The demand for education services is rising at a faster rate than governments can supply both in the industrial and developing countries. Public school systems struggle to meet the demand for high-quality education as awareness of its importance increases. Most public schools are inadequately financed and the quality of education suffers from too many students and too few teachers per class, insufficient books and teaching supplies, poorly constructed schools, crumbling buildings, and aging infrastructure. AFRICA Many African countries are not on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of universal primary completion by Illiteracy is more than 40 percent in several countries and government spending on basic education has not kept up with population growth. According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2004, total primary enrollment for Sub-Saharan Africa was about 101 million students, of which 10 percent (or 10 million students) were from the private sector. Total secondary enrollment was 31 million students, of which 14 percent (or 4 million) were private sector. The total tertiary enrollment was 3 million students (private sector figure not available). Governments are relying increasingly on the private sector to help fulfill public policy objectives in education as well as to appropriately regulate providers, integrate them with the public system, and increase access to students at all income levels. Why Work with IFC in the Education Sector? Long-term financing on terms suited to the project Global experience in the education sector Financial, technical, and strategic value-added Understanding of local markets and measure of political risk cover IFC has a team of specialists dedicated to investment in private education IFC is uniquely positioned to mobilize donor financing for advisory services For more information contact: Ludi Joseph Sr. Communications Officer Health and Education Dept. International Finance Corp. Tel: (202) IFC s presence reassures foreign investors, local partners, and governments IFC is committed to the future growth of private education in developing countries

2 Although countries such as Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda have made primary education free of charge, additional investments in the sector have been limited. Parents living in urban slums are taking their children out of over-crowded and under-funded public schools and sending them to private institutions, which are catering increasingly to lower- and middle-income households. The lack or limited availability of medium- or long-term financing to build or expand private schools continues to be a major constraint. Schools also require assistance to improve their financial, managerial and administrative capabilities, and increase their operating efficiency. IFC has stepped in to fill the financing gap by ramping up investment in private schools in Ghana and Kenya and a new Africa Schools Program that will cover several countries. IFC is working with local partner banks to support local currency financing to private schools through risk financing facilities. By reducing their risks, IFC is encouraging banks to increase their lending to schools. IFC is providing advisory services to partner banks, including training them in marketing, credit assessment, and loan monitoring. IFC is also providing advisory services to schools, including designing business plans, to help them effectively utilize the funding provided by banks. IFC is promoting the development of an independent provider of educational services to private schools. IFC is working closely with the World Bank to ensure compliance with education sector policies in respective countries and jointly evaluating the impact of the projects. Whatever their socio-economic background, education is seen by parents, even the poorest of them, as the best investment they can make in the future of their children. They know that, without education, there is no progress. Guy Ellena, IFC Director for Health and Education GHANA SCHOOLS Over the past 20 years, private education in Ghana has experienced an unprecedented boom owing to the poor quality of public school education. Since 1997, private enrollment has tripled. Of the 3.5 million students in the 6 to 15 year age group, about 20 percent are enrolled in private schools. However, the ability of private schools to expand their operations and upgrade their facilities has been severely constrained by the lack of mediumand long-term financing. In June 2005, IFC worked with a partner bank, The Trust Bank Limited (TTB), to set up a $2.1 million (9.5 billion Ghanaian cedis) risk sharing facility. The facility supported local currency lending to private schools to finance construction and other capital costs and purchase educational materials. As the schools required help to reach more students and enhance the quality of education offered, IFC provided a range of advisory services to improve their operations.

3 Advisory Services Schools were trained in business management systems and strategic planning; in attracting and retaining high-quality teachers and increasing their chances of being approved for additional financing, e.g., the construction of libraries, laboratories, and other facilities. Schools were required to pass a minimum set of criteria for lending, including their readiness to receive and use funding effectively. Advice was provided to TTB to better process and monitor loans. Track Record / Results So far, TTB has disbursed $1.8 million (in local currency equivalent) to 13 schools with a combined enrollment of over 5,000 students. Another 11 schools have been pre-screened by TTB and consultants are preparing business plans to access funding. The combination of investment and advisory services has proven to be very effective in meeting the demand for private education, especially among lower-income families. The program has considerably expanded school enrollment and promoted sustainability. IFC and the World Bank have begun a joint impact assessment of this project. Second Financing to TTB The success of Ghana Schools and the increasing demand from private schools in and outside Accra for financing recently resulted in a second IFC investment in TTB, in May Again, the investment is complemented by an advisory program to prepare participating schools to borrow from the bank and strengthen their financial and managerial capacities. The new project increases IFC s risk participation up to 31.4 billion Ghanaian cedis (about $3.5 million equivalent), covering about half of the portfolio of loans extended by TTB. TTB will extend its lending beyond the Accra region, reaching more schools than under the 2005 pilot. This will help alleviate the financing constraints faced by private schools outside Accra where the banking sector is less familiar with educational institutions. For more information contact: Ludi Joseph Sr. Communications Officer Health and Education Dept. International Finance Corp. Tel: (202) It s not just the rich or the elite who send their children to private schools. I asked a poor construction worker who wanted his child to come here whether he could afford the fees and he said, Ma, I don t want my son to be like me. I am investing in his future. And he struggled to pay a little bit every month so that his child would get a better education and better opportunities than he had. For many parents, this is their best escape from poverty. Alberta Quartey, Managing Director, Alsyd Academy, Accra, Ghana KENYA SCHOOLS In 2003, the Kenyan government scrapped primary school fees, resulting in a 20 percent jump in school enrollment. However, school buildings remained in a poor state of repair with insufficient classrooms and inadequate water and sanitary facilities for the increasing number of new students. This has

4 caused more students leaving public schools to go to private schools with a subsequent rise in demand for affordable medium- and long-term financing from private educational institutions that need to expand their facilities. In December 2006, IFC s unique approach in Ghana was replicated in Kenya through a partnership with Kenya s K-Rep Bank. IFC provided K-Rep Bank with a partial guarantee of up to 120 million Kenya shillings (about $1.7 million) on loans extended to eligible private schools, including low-income schools. A comprehensive advisory services program is being provided to strengthen the financial, management, and educational capacities of the schools and foster the development of an independent provider of educational services to private schools. K-Rep Bank has been given assistance in building its capacity to offer loans to educational institutions. The partnership affords K-Rep Bank the opportunity to expand and monitor its education portfolio while minimizing risk and developing further expertise in the sector. K-Rep Bank s risk was reduced by the advisory services provided directly to individual schools before and after receiving loans. Advisory Services A capacity enhancement for K-Rep Bank was completed and includes financial analysis, cash flow analysis, credit risk assessment and management and school loan evaluation. Advisory services to schools will begin July 2007 with general introductory workshops on school self-diagnostics, business planning and strategic planning aimed at preparing schools to apply for loans; followed by workshops and individualized school development services for schools that receive loans. IFC and the World Bank have begun a joint impact assessment of this project. Track Record / Results Over the past 5 months, K-Rep Bank has disbursed $300,000 to 19 schools and has a pipeline of 17 schools needing $500,000. Through the partnership, K-Rep now offers longer tenors of 3 to 5 years, which is commensurate with the needs of schools. The program supports schools serving low-income families with annual tuition in some schools as little as $60 per year or 18 U.S. cents per day. The combination of investment and advisory services has proved to be very effective in meeting the demand for private education, especially among low-income families. This partnership offers us a great opportunity to improve the quality of schools and build an infrastructure that expands educational services and gets into areas, such as, constructing laboratories for science and computers. Kimanthi Mutua, K-Rep Bank, Kenya

5 IFC AFRICA SCHOOLS PROGRAM Because of the success of school projects in Ghana and Kenya, IFC has scaled up its efforts to launch the new Africa Schools Program, a landmark project that was approved by IFC s Board, June 12, 2007, and will help the Corporation significantly increase its impact by financing a larger number of private schools through local banks. The three-year $50 million integrated investment and $6 million advisory services program will cover about 500 schools and impact over 100,000 students across the continent. It will provide local partner banks with unfunded risk participation facilities in local currency to address financing constraints of private primary, secondary, vocational, and tertiary schools. Based on IFC s earlier experience, individual loans by partner banks to schools are expected to range from $1,000 to $500,000 in the local currency equivalent. To be eligible for financing, schools will need to meet the originating bank s underwriting criteria and comply with local environmental, social, and safety standards. While all countries are eligible, the program will initially focus on 11 Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia eight of which may not meet the MDG of universal primary completion by Criteria for country selection will include countries with high student enrollment in private schools, where IFC has existing school financing programs or local offices, and could quickly develop investment opportunities; and where there is a good banking sector. Criteria for bank selection will include banks that have already done business with IFC as well as banks that may not be existing IFC clients but are interested in lending to schools. For more information contact: Ludi Joseph Sr. Communications Officer Health and Education Dept. International Finance Corp. Tel: (202) Advisory Services IFC will design and implement a two-year advisory services program in each country which will be tailored for each market and include workshops aimed at marketing the program. Advisory services will provide individualized and workshop training to participant schools in school self-diagnostics, business planning, human resources and training management, curriculum and learning management, and marketing. A local services provider will be taught to deliver school development services and individual training to schools. Partner banks will also be qualified in marketing, credit assessment, and loan screening and monitoring. World Bank Collaboration IFC and the World Bank will actively collaborate in implementing the program in each country, ensuring its compliance with education sector policies in respective countries and jointly evaluating its impact, thereby increasing the recognition of private schools as valuable stakeholders and contributors to the sector.

6 Development Impact By scaling up and building on its earlier successes in Ghana and Kenya, IFC is broadening its operations and enhancing its development impact. IFC is validating a concept and proving that financing and advisory services go hand-in-hand in increasing results and providing valueadded to clients. The multi-country approach allows IFC to respond quickly and efficiently to market demand. The program significantly increases access to high-quality education for a larger number of students from all income levels, including lowand middle-income households. The advisory services will prepare schools to borrow from the formal sector and make them less risky borrowers; it will also enable partner banks to better evaluate candidate schools. Advisory services will also establish an independent sustainable entity that will deliver capacity building services to individual schools on an ongoing basis. The schools expected to benefit are small and medium enterprises and, by increasing support to them, the program fits IFC s Africa strategy. By using local banks to deliver local currency financing, the program will strengthen local financial markets. Local banks in Ghana and Kenya are approaching schools as potential lenders, encouraging competition with IFC client banks. Similar results are expected with the new program. The program will demonstrate best practice throughout the region in both banking and education. Improved efficiencies in school management are expected to positively impact educational outcomes by freeing up teachers to spend more time on lesson planning and teaching. Joint IFC-World Bank impact evaluations of the Ghana and Kenya School projects are under way and will help IFC decide how to go forward with educational investments in Africa. In the past, IFC was unable to invest in many private schools in Africa because its traditional lending instruments exposed schools to foreign currency risk. Also, most schools had relatively small financing needs that IFC could not administer directly. With its Ghana and Kenya school projects and now the Africa Schools Program, IFC is using local currency risk financing facilities that help provide comfort and lower the risk for partner banks. The banks risk has also been reduced by the advisory services provided to schools. IFC is not lending money to banks but sharing their risk, thereby motivating banks to increase lending to schools. Guy Ellena, IFC Director for Health and Education

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