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PRESS RELEASE April 29, 2021

The World Bank Provides $250 million to Empower Angolan Girls and Tackle Learning Poverty

WASHINGTON, April 29, 2021—The World Bank approved a $250 million Investment Project Financing (IPF) to support Angola’s efforts to empower girls and tackle learning poverty, twin agendas at the heart of boosting the country’s human capital.  

Angola scores .36 on the Human Capital Index, dramatically lower than what its GDP would predict and below the Sub-Saharan Africa average. The government’s revised National Development Plan (2018-2022) prioritizes investments in human capital, with a focus on girls’ and women’s empowerment. The World Bank loan marks the first comprehensive investment in this area, expanding both supply and demand for health and education services, using a spatial approach that targets particularly vulnerable municipalities.

“There is no more direct a route to achieving Angola’s future prosperity than to empower girls,” said Jean-Christophe Carret, World Bank Country Director for Angola. “Empowered girls stay in school longer, learn more, are healthier, and have more options for fulfilling life goals. Keeping girls in school is the best way to eliminate child marriage, and results in fewer adolescent pregnancies, which are correlated with high maternal mortality, and babies that are born underweight. The virtuous cycle sparked by girls’ empowerment is vast and self-perpetuating.”

The project comes at a crucial moment for Angola, as COVID-19 school closures risk accelerating the dropout rate of adolescent girls and contribute to learning losses for untold numbers of students. To combat this, the project consists of three components. Component 1 improves access to sexual and reproductive health services, while strengthening the information and knowledge of girls, boys, parents, and community leaders to boost uptake of these services.  For out of school youth, the project scales up second chance education, incorporating life skills and adolescent health information. It also introduces a scholarship program reaching 900,000 youth entering secondary school, with a registration bonus for girls. Under Component 2, support will be provided to improve teaching and learning outcomes, and 3,000 new classrooms will be built. Component 3 ensures efficient monitoring and management of the project and supports research to inform education policy development.



Wilson P. M. Piassa
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