The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is expected to launch a schools advisory services programme at La Palisse Hotel, Nyandungu today.
With in-built advisory and investment services, the programme will allow the IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group to shore up educational institutions.
It will do so by offering “risk participation facilities” to Banque Rwandaise de Développement (BRD) to sustain lending to the education sector.
Talking about the new venture yesterday, Ignace Rusenga, IFC Senior Operations Officer, said that they have been working towards addressing challenges faced by the country’s education sector.
“In June, we had a workshop in which we presented the results of a market study that we commissioned to look at the status of private sector education contribution,” he told The New Times on phone, adding, “After this market study, we discussed with BRD to set up a financial agreement, a risk-sharing guarantee.”
This, he explained, would allow the bank to lend more to the private sector promoters in education.
“The programme is a mix of investment and advisory services,” Rusenga said, adding that USD 4.8 million will constitute the risk-sharing guarantees.
“The objective is to make sure that BRD is able to expand its portfolio. The advisory services will be provided to both BRD and the promoters of schools,” he explained, while pointing to private sector challenges like poor management capabilities as some of those to be ironed out.
Schools will be provided with advisory services to improve their operations and, although BRD is the only bank involved now, other banks are expected to come in future.
Earlier in May, IFC signed an agreement with BRD to help it improve the business environment for private education in the country.
This is part of the IFC’s USD 50 million Africa Schools Programme that encourages local banks to provide local currency financing to private primary, secondary, vocational, and tertiary schools.
The programme which has already registered success in Kenya and Ghana is part of IFC’s plan to assist African countries meet the Millennium Development Goal of offering primary education to all by 2015.