Education is one of the most powerful drivers of development, and never more so than in today’s fast-evolving information society, where literacy is critical. With a decent education, people have improved life chances, including better health and earning capacity, as well as the ability to engage actively in the community.
Although there has been much progress in recent years, an estimated 57 million primary-age children were still out of school in 2011. Globally, 123 million youth aged 15 to 24 lack basic reading and writing skills, including 75 million young women. Another challenge facing the sector is that of skills training to meet the fluctuating demands of a labor market with high youth unemployment.
OFID’s assistance to education and learning includes:
Also supported is knowledge exchange through the sponsorship of conferences, workshops and other intellectual pursuits. As of December 31, 2013, US$826.5m (5%) of OFID’s total commitments had been channeled to education-related initiatives.
In 2013, OFID committed US$35.8m to education and knowledge transfer, the bulk of it (89.9%) in public sector lending to Africa.
These loans support the following projects:
The remaining US$3.6m comprised 21 small grants. In addition to conference sponsorship and grassroots initiatives, these included funds drawn from the OFID Scholarship Program to sponsor the graduate studies of four winning applicants from Haiti, Jordan, Nepal and Mauritius.