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We Urge Investors to Divest from Bridge International Academies Following Damning Report

We Urge Investors to Divest from Bridge International Academies Following Damning Report

In response to the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman’s (CAO) recent Compliance Investigation Report into the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) investment in Bridge International Academies (BIA), we joined forces with 45 civil society organisations, calling on investors to take immediate action. 

The CAO report revealed alarming findings of child sexual abuse allegations within the for-profit chain of schools in Kenya, BIA, citing failures in due diligence and supervision by the IFC. These failures resulted in significant harm to students, both in the short and long term. 

Aligned with our collective international advocacy efforts on human rights and accountability, we are calling public investors, including British International Investment, PROPARCO, European Investment Bank, Norfund, and private investors, to publicly acknowledge the CAO findings, remedy the harm caused, and exit their investments in BIA. Also, we are calling on investors to improve oversight and accountability measures in future investments in the K-12 education sector and focus on supporting public provision. 

We are urging the IFC to take proactive steps in reaching out to other investors in BIA, sharing its findings, and discussing collective actions towards real remedies for survivors. Furthermore, we are calling upon the World Bank to expand support to affected countries to ensure the provision of free and quality public education for all. 

Moreover, we are urging countries where BIA schools operate, such as Uganda, Kenya, Liberia, and Nigeria, to review the CAO findings and take necessary steps to bring BIA into compliance with national laws and standards, or to shut down the schools within the stipulated timeframes. 

We, along with the signatory organisations, emphasise the importance of prioritising the well-being of students and ensuring accountability in investments in the education sector. 

For further information, we invite you to read the full statement, the CAO Compliance Investigation Report and IFC's Mangement Report and Management Action Plan. 


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