WASHINGTON, D.C., November 23, 1999 - The World
Bank, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the African Development
Bank, and private companies will hold the first in a series of regional
conferences to explore the potentials and practicalities of private investment
in education in the developing world.
The first conference, "Investment Opportunities in Private Education
in Africa," will be held November 30 to December 1 in Abidjan,
Côte d'Ivoire. Private education entrepreneurs will attend along with other
groups, including education financiers, private school associations, and
publishers, as well as policymakers from Africa (primarily West Africa).
This conference, along with future regional conferences, will build on
an international conference on private investment in education that was
held in Washington in June. The regional conferences are part of a new
program, known as EdInvest, initiated by the World Bank, IFC, and private
The conference will discuss the role of private education in development;
criteria for assessing investments in private schools and universities;
financial structuring of private school projects; private student financing
programs and investments in distance education (i.e., non-campus students
receiving instruction via the internet, satellite, mail, or radio); the
potential of public-private partnerships in education; and education related
investments, such as textbooks.
Peter Woicke, Managing Director of the World Bank Group and IFC Executive
Vice President, said that support for private education in developing countries
complements state-run education and expands educational opportunities overall.
At the same time, private schools can free public resources, sharpen innovation
in the classroom, and provide new scope for high standards of education
within the local community. IFC has approved investments of $44 million
in education projects around the world, including in the Gambia, Senegal,
Guinea, and in Côte d'Ivoire.
The mission of the 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.
Event: Conference on Investment Opportunities in Private Education in
Date: November 30-December 1, 1999
Location: Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
Contact: Ludwina Joseph (202) 473-7700 or e-mail email@example.com