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CONFERENCE ON INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN PRIVATE EDUCATION IN AFRICA


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


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 sponsors.
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 Africa
Date: November 30-December 1, 1999
Location: Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
Contact: Ludwina Joseph (202) 473-7700 or e-mail
ljoseph@ifc.org