UK development finance firm CDC is to make a $6m direct investment to support the expansion of Kenya-based Bridge International Academies, a provider of pre-primary education for children from poor families.
CDC is investing alongside IFC and existing investors, with the funding aimed at supporting the company’s plans to expand to more countries in Africa, where Bridge currently operates, as well as in India.
Bridge International Academies, founded in 2008, now operates over 250 schools in Kenya teaching the national curriculum, charging an average of just over $6 per month in fees.
Dolika Banda, CDC’s regional director for Africa, said, “As well as having the potential to transform education for children from low-income families, Bridge is already a large employer in Kenya, particularly amongst 24 – 35 year olds who were previously unemployed. The investment will support the company to create almost 10,000 new jobs, both in Kenya and in other developing countries.”
CDC is the UK government-owned development finance institution that uses its own balance sheet to invest in the developing countries of Africa and South Asia. It has net assets of £2.8bn. The firm underwent an overhaul in 2012, following criticism that its developmental remit had been subsumed into a more returns-driven approach. It now provides direct investment alongside it fund investment activity.
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