24 April 2024

In March, the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman’s (CAO) published its Compliance Investigation Report into the World Bank International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) investment in Bridge International Academies (BIA). The report makes clear that IFC’s failures in due diligence and supervision resulted in irrevocable harm to students including “acute and long-term damage to [survivors’] physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development, in addition to economic disadvantage due to lost productivity, disability, and reduced quality of life”. 

Crucially, the report compels us to consider the role of both current and past public and private investors in BIA. These stakeholders, through their investments, have played a part in establishing BIA as the largest network of low-cost private schools in Africa and they are therefore also responsible by extension. Among these investors include British International Investment, PROPARCO, European Investment Bank, Norfund among others, including private investors.

In response, RTE has joined forces with 45 civil society organisations, calling on investors to take immediate action. 


We call on investors to: 

  • Respond publicly to the findings of the CAO report and take all necessary measures to remedy the harm caused

  • Provide a comprehensive account of their due diligence and supervision of the Bridge International Academies investments to date and the steps they will take to improve oversight and accountability going forward

  • Outline the steps they will be taking to remedy harms committed to students, particularly in regard to contributing to financial compensation and rehabilitation of survivors

  • Responsibly exit their direct or indirect investments in Bridge International Academies, where investments are still active, and;

  • Describe how their lending strategies for K-12 education will change given the report’s findings. 


We call on the IFC to: 

  • Publicly outline the steps it has taken to reach out to other investors in Bridge International Academies, share its findings, and discuss collective actions towards remedy for survivors. 


We call on the World Bank’s public sector arm to: 

  • Step up and expand its support to the countries affected by the investment —Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, and India— to support them in fulfilling their constitutional obligations to provide free and quality public education for all children, particularly in underserved areas. 


Countries where BIA/NewGlobe schools still operate (i.e., Uganda, Kenya, Liberia and Nigeria) to:

  • Review the findings outlined in this report and ensure that the respective ministries of education take the necessary steps in line with national laws and standards, to bring Bridge International Academies into compliance, or to shut the schools down within the time stipulated by the law.


Read the full statement here in English and French

Read the the CAO Compliance Investigation Report

Read the IFC's Management Report and Management Action Plan