Roundtable & exhibition to finance education sector in Afghanistan held in Kabul
USAID’s Financial Access for Investing in the Development of Afghanistan (FAIDA) project in collaboration with the Afghanistan Ministry of Education and the Private Schools Union of Afghanistan organized a one-day Access to Finance Business-to-Bank Roundtable and Exhibition on Financing the Education Sector in Kabul on May 1st, 2016.
The main objectives of the event were to improve access to finance for the private education sector through targeted roundtable discussions and meetings between relevant stakeholders, to link the private education sector with financial institutions and mobile network operators, and to create new jobs and enhance private education services for Afghans.
More than 150 participants, including officials from the Afghanistan Ministry of Education, representatives of the Private Schools Union of Afghanistan, public and private educational organizations, insurance companies, commercial banks, microfinance institutions, and mobile network operators attended the event.
“Low-income countries around the world are witnessing a revolution in the provision of education. While the public education system struggles with how to achieve full primary school enrollment, low-income parents in many developing countries around the world are enrolling their children in private schools that are affordable, accessible and, in many cases, provide a quality education. It might be part of a larger solution for Afghanistan,” said Bob Davidson, Director of USAID Afghanistan’s Office of Education.
During the roundtable, education enterprises exchanged viewpoints in identifying challenges and opportunities in improving their productivity, and, therefore, access to finance. The education enterprises also exhibited their products and services to a broader group that previously had little or no knowledge of their products and services.
“The private sector can be a reliable partner to the Ministry of Education, to share the responsibility of providing equitable, quality education for Afghanistan’s children. We should support the private sector to share our work load and focus on quality and inclusiveness in education,” -said Dr. Mohammad Ibrahim Shinwari, Deputy Minister, Afghanistan Ministry of Education.
“Education forms the foundation of any society and state. If we want to improve our primary and secondary education, our first step should be the facilitation of required resources and I believe, people, private companies, banks and government have essential role in the facilitation of these resources,” said Mr. Mohammad Dawood Babar, Chairman of Private Schools Union of Afghanistan.
The $108 million, five-year FAIDA project began in 2011 and is designed to build a sustainable, diverse, and inclusive financial sector that can meet the needs of micro, small, and medium enterprises throughout the country. To date, the program has facilitated $52.2 million in private sector loans to 5,802 businesses, of which $3.2 million were loans to 1,756 women-owned businesses. These financial arrangements have created 5,983 full-time equivalent jobs, and have directly supported 75,938 families throughout the country.
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