Cairo, Egypt, April 8, 2012—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is lending the Cairo Investment and Real
Estate Development company (CIRA) up to $15 million to help the firm build
primary and secondary schools across Egypt, providing thousands of children
with the opportunity to gain access to high-quality education.
The funding support from IFC will enable CIRA, a leading provider of kindergarten
through grade 12 instruction, to expand its network of schools into more
remote areas of the country where there is a shortage of good, affordable
education. The company plans to build seven schools over the next five
years, creating capacity for an estimated 12,000 students.
“Our aim is to give children across
the country the opportunity to reach their potential,” said Mohamed El
Kalla, CEO of CIRA. “This partnership with IFC will help us do that.”
This loan is part of IFC’s efforts in Egypt to support the development
of the education sector and rekindle investor confidence in the wake of
the country’s transformation. CIRA now operates 15 Futures Schools with
a combined enrollment of 14,000 students. The new schools will be built
in districts across the country, including Assuit and Minya in southern
“Providing students with access to a quality education is vital for the
economic development of Egypt,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director for
the Middle East and North Africa. “At the same time, this investment in
CIRA demonstrates our belief that the company, like many others in Egypt,
has tremendous long-term potential.”
Investment in private education is a strategic priority for IFC. IFC’s
education portfolio stands at more than $400 million, encompassing 69 projects
in 33 countries, several of which are among the world's poorest states.
As part of these efforts, in 2010 IFC
launched the e4e Initiative for Arab Youth in partnership with the Islamic
Development Bank. The program aims to develop a common approach to working
with the private sector to enhance education options and entrepreneurship
opportunities for youth in the Middle East and North Africa.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create
opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do
so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply
essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering
advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global
economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion
in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.