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IFC Provides Financing to Education Sector in South Africa


L. Joseph
Phone:(202) 473-7700

Fax:(202) 974-4384

E-mail:
ljoseph@ifc.org


Johannesburg, South Africa, June 4, 2002—The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector lending arm of the World Bank Group, has extended a $2.2 million loan to an education finance company in South Africa, Edu-Loan (Proprietary) Limited.

IFC’s investment will help Edu-Loan to extend funding to students enrolling with state-supported universities and technical colleges which offer their normal academic curricula and special courses tailored to professions, such as nursing and teaching. Edu-Loan will also extend funding to private institutes and colleges that offer specialized training, such as computer skills and business studies. These studies may vary from full time to part-time, distance-learning, and e-learning options.


Ms. Haydee Celaya, IFC Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, said, “One of IFC’s priorities is to support efforts that improve education and technical skills in our client countries. High levels of education are associated with improved productivity for the country, better living standards for the population, and higher income levels.”


Mr. Emil Böhme, Managing Director of Edu-Loan, said, “There is a great demand in South Africa for funding of higher education. South Africans are keen to improve their skill levels and Edu-Loan is proud to be a catalyst in this process. IFC plays an important role in providing a competitively-priced source of long-term funding. We hope that this project will encourage similar financing from other sources to the education sector.”


IFC’s current portfolio in South Africa, amounting to about $128 million, is spread over a number of sectors, including manufacturing, energy, financial services, private equity funds, and hotels. Companies that have received financing from IFC include the life assurer, African Life Assurance Company Limited; mortgage securitisation company, South African Home Loans; Tusk Construction and Support Services, which provides small emerging contractors with project management services and working capital loans; and Lesedi Hospital, among others.


IFC’s mission is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to 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. Since its founding in 1956 through the close of the last fiscal year on June 30, 2001, IFC committed more than $31 billion of its own funds and arranged $20 billion in syndications for 2,636 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s committed portfolio at the end of FY01 was $14.3 billion.