CAIRO: 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, according to a statement.
The funding support from IFC will enable CIRA, a 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 IFC statement said.
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 Hassan El Kalla, chairman 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,” IFC said.
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 Assiut and Minya.
“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.”
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.
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.