Facts & Figures




Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Tanzania, Tunisia, Zambia






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About the project

Initiated by KfW Development Bank and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the UK Development Finance Institution (CDC), and other public and private investors, the Regional Education Finance Fund for Africa (REFFA) is the first regional education finance facility for Africa. It aims to provide customized financial services for the education sector in a demand-oriented, financially sustainable, inclusive, and socially responsible manner.


According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 264 million children are out of school, and it is estimated that a further 617 million are attending school but learning little.

At the same time, the share of official development assistance spent on education declined by about a quarter between 2002 and 2016, according to the Education Commission’s landmark report. The report estimates that total spending on education will need to increase from USD 1.2 trillion per year in 2016 to USD 3 trillion by 2030 across all low- and middle-income countries in order to improve school systems and meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) education target.

Sub-Saharan Africa is a particularly at-risk region; more than half of children not enrolled in schools globally live in sub-Saharan Africa.


REFFA provides funding for on-lending to financial institutions in Africa. Financial intermediaries across Africa—including banks, microfinance institutions, credit co-operatives, and other finance companies—can receive tailored funding and technical assistance (TA) for the expansion and/or development of their education finance portfolios.

Financial institutions are key to meet the fund’s impact and sustainability targets, as they are the preferred channel to deliver customized financial products to the education sector. Capacity building and funding of local financial intermediaries ensure long-term access to financing for the education sector.

REFFA’s investees finance private schools (primary, secondary, and vocational) and provide school fee loans and student loans.

Quality of education and affordability are at the heart of REFFA’s mandate. REFFA strives to increase access to education services and products while measuring its quality and affordability aspects.

Results to date

  • 9 financial institutions financed in 8 African countries, including Cote d’Ivoire
  • USD 149 million education portfolio size
  • 150,000+ students & learners
  • 587 schools financed
  • 32 TA projects implemented and completed

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