The Government of Monaco has officially partnered with Investisseurs & Partenaires to create the first impact fund dedicated solely to education on the African continent. The fund, planned to be launched by 2020, will aim to address the challenges of accessibility, equity, quality, and adequacy of education in Africa according to the Principality’s official website.
According to the press release, “the fund will finance and support private educational institutions or companies in the educational ecosystem that produce goods, services, and technologies essential to solving these challenges. Several investment hypotheses are currently being examined regarding the investment sectors and criteria, the geographical scope and the financial instruments that will be used. A feasibility study is currently carried out to determine the opportunities and obstacles related to the creation of an impact vehicle dedicated to education in the African context. Conducted by the Foundation for Studies and Research on International Development (FERDI), the study will provide a better understanding of African educational challenges and identify good practices in education that can be developed and expanded by the private sector.”
Addressing Africa’s youth’s education represents a major undertaking for the future of the continent. Even with the progress achieved over the last years and decades, there are still several pervasive issues throughout the continent. Simply providing access to education to young females is a key step in improving the quality of living for a future generation of women. The same goes for rural communities where the quality of education is often difficult to ensure. Aligning these needs with the demands of the present and future labor markets will require in-depth knowledge of African market trends. Anticipating the needs of the market will help to better fashion future schooling environments continent-wide,
The first Africa-centric impact fund dedicated to education
Per the press release, Jean-Michel Severino, President of Investisseurs & Partenaires, presented his thoughts on the venture: “African governments have only limited resources to solve these problems, and as a result, the private sector is increasingly seen as a complementary actor in the education sector.” It is still somewhat rare to have an impact fund dedicated specifically to education, which renders this project even more ambitious and exciting. Statistically, 50% of the African population is under the age of 20 with 450 million young people expected to enter the labor market by 2050. Educating and training these future laborers is pivotal to the continent’s growth and success.
Two actors, one goal
“The Government of the Principality’s international development policy, which prioritizes combatting poverty, supports more than 130 projects each year in 11 countries, primarily Least Developed Countries (Madagascar, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mauritania, Senegal and Burundi). It focuses on four key areas of intervention to develop human capital – health, education, socio-economic inclusion and since 2018 food security – and targets the most vulnerable people (women, children, refugees, people with disabilities) as a priority. https://cooperation-monaco.gouv.mc/en”
“Investisseurs & Partenaires is an impact investing group fully dedicated to small and medium enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the firm conviction that these enterprises actively contribute to sustainable and inclusive growth on the continent. Since its launch in 2002, I&P has supported about 90 small and medium enterprises based in 16 Sub-Saharan African countries. These companies create local value and sustainable jobs, but also generate significant social, environmental and governance impacts. www.ietp.com”