Press Releases

IFC International Education Conference to Explore the Future of Private Education

In Washington, D.C.:
Ludi Joseph, IFC
Phone:  (202) 473 7700

Washington, D.C., March 18, 2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping client companies expand access to education services, improve standards of quality and efficiency, and facilitate the international exchange of best practice in private education in developing countries.

IFC, the world’s largest multilateral investor in private education in emerging markets, will hold its fourth international education conference in Washington, D.C., from March 28 through March 30.  The event will bring together IFC clients and experts from the private education, government, academia, and financing sectors.

The conference, “Strategic Resilience in Times of Recession,” will explore the future of private education in developing countries and the changes taking place in the sector in the wake of the global financial crisis.  Speakers from more than a dozen countries will present cases of strategic decisions that enabled their institutions to be resilient and, in some instances, to thrive during the economic downturn.

Speakers will include Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO; Mike Moore, incoming New Zealand Ambassador to the United States and former New Zealand Prime Minister and director general, World Trade Organization; Sergio Abromovich, Senior Director of International Business Development, DeVry University; and chief executives of leading education companies from emerging and developed markets. Guy Ellena, IFC Director for Health and Education, will chair the conference.

“The IFC conference is taking place at a time when the private education sector in developing countries is experiencing considerable change and expansion,” said Thunell. “Private education can make a significant contribution to development in these countries, especially by increasing access to services for low- and middle-income people.”

IFC has committed $469 million in financing to 62 education projects in 30 countries at a total value of $1.54 billion.  Twenty-one education projects (35 percent) were in the world’s poorest countries.  IFC-supported projects help educate about a million students annually.

IFC is the only international financial institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing countries—including by advancing private education in developing countries by bringing together experts to exchange ideas and experiences on expanding access to quality education and coping with hard economic times.  
To learn more about the conference, visit

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit