IFC school programme on track – analyst

The schools advisory services programme launched last November by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank (WB) is reportedly in progress.

The schools advisory services programme launched last November by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank (WB) is reportedly in progress.

IFC programme analyst Liliane Rushemeza pointed this out during an interview at the IFC country offices in Kigali Tuesday.

“I have visited about nineteen schools and over thirty schools are interested in the programme and have signed an expression of interest,” she said. She underlined that currently, they are marketing the programme in schools country-wide.

Loans to the tune of Rwf 970 million have been acquired in the last five months, constituting 33 percent of the target in the next two years.

The programme which has in-built advisory and investment services allows the WB’s private sector arm to support the education sector by offering “risk participation facilities” to the Rwanda Development Bank (BRD) to sustain lending in education.

“Since the launch of the advisory services we have also hired consultants that are going to provide advisory services directly to the schools.”

“The first component was to have direct services to the schools. In the next coming months we shall hire other consultants to deliver services such as strategic planning and other business development services,” she said.

Rushemeza noted that the schools have been “very receptive and welcoming” but acknowledged that “one of the things” her team has to do is managing the expectations.

“There are unreasonable expectations of the schools in terms of receiving quick access to finance and cheap advisory services.” She underscored that most schools, on grasping what IFC has to offer and how important it is, are willing to pay.

“And because we are sharing in the cost, it is much cheaper than when they were hiring a consultant.”

After a workshop last June presented outcomes of an IFC market study commissioned on the status of private sector education contribution, discussions with BRD to set up a financial agreement – a “risk-sharing guarantee” worth US$ 4.8 million ensued.

This allows BRD to lend to private sector promoters in education with ease.

The scheme is part of the IFC’s US$ 50 million Africa Schools Programme that encourages local banks to provide financing to private schools and, it has registered success elsewhere in Kenya and Ghana.

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