Monrovia, Liberia, February 8, 2011—
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today launched the Africa Schools Liberia Program to support improvements to private secondary, vocational and technical schools, and to help thousands of students access high-quality education, ultimately benefiting the economy with a supply of skilled workers.
The program addresses an acute shortage of vocational skills that was revealed by a recent Liberia Schools Market Survey undertaken by IFC. The survey, validated by the Ministry of Education as well as public and private sector stakeholders, also highlighted a growing and self-sustaining private education sector that serves more than 30 percent of Liberia’s school-going population.
“This program offers an innovative way to have a long-term positive impact on social and economic development in Liberia,´ said Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, IFC Resident Representative, Liberia and Sierra Leone. “The Africa Schools Liberia Program will support the growth of private schools in the country, increasing access to high-quality education across the economic spectrum.”
A lack of access to finance and support services has limited the ability of many private schools in Liberia to meet demand and run efficiently. The Africa Schools Liberia Program will provide target schools the advisory and financial support they need to grow, complementing Liberia’s own efforts to increase access to quality education.
IFC will advise target schools in Liberia over the next two years, helping them address financial and management issues so they can offer improved educational services. IFC will also help participating schools access finance from local commercial banks, including IFC investee banks.
The program will also increase the capacity of participating schools to develop business planning; corporate governance; financial management; curriculum management, as well as environment, health and safety standards. IFC will also advise local banks on how to increase lending to private educational institutions.
The Africa Schools Program, launched in 2007, has already proved successful in Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, where it has strengthened private schools, supporting governments in their commitment to provide quality education for all.
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