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IFC INVESTS IN EDUCATION AND FINANCIAL MARKETS IN COTE D'IVOIRE


L. Joseph
Phone: (202) 473-7700
Fax: (202) 974-4384
E-mail: Ljoseph@ifc.org


ABIDJAN, COTE D'IVOIRE, August 16, 1999 — A new private school will start teaching secondary school students a year from now, and an Ivorian brokerage firm will modernize its operations, through two new investments by the International Finance Corporation aimed at improving the economy and people's lives in Côte d'Ivoire.
IFC will guarantee a long-term loan of US$370,000 provided in local currency to the Collège Privé les Pitchounes, to construct the school which will serve the students graduating from a nearby sister school for elementary grades. The curriculum, which is designed to offer students modern, practical approaches to education, will mix local and French programs of study.
Mr. Luciano Borin, IFC's regional representative for West Africa, said that investment in private schools supplements the public school system and provides quality education that will serve both the children who are students as well as the local society and business community. He noted that this is IFC's fourth investment in a private school, marking the success of this kind of private initiative in social sector projects.
In another recent investment in Côte d'Ivoire, IFC will take an equity stake of $50,000 in a brokerage firm, the Société de Gestion et d'Intermédiation (SGI), known as the Africaine de Bourse. IFC will help develop the company's activities in regional financial markets by building its institutional capacity and introducing modern and efficient financial methods.
The investment reflects IFC's priority for supporting non-banking financial institutions in the area to help build up a strong regional financial sector.
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private sector investment in developing countries, which will reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.