In partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank, SW Global is deploying ICT to improve higher education in developing countries. Our joint project, called the “Digital Bridge for Higher Education,” is an innovative and first-of-its-kind initiative designed to offer bundled digital solutions to institutions using a vendor-financing model in which the cost of the infrastructure is not borne by the institutions themselves.
The Digital Bridge project is designed to facilitate the automation of the operations and management processes of higher educational institutions, an area which is currently a great need in the developing world. More importantly, our project aims to introduce these institutions to a thriving digital culture – we recognize that in order to remain competitive in an increasingly globalized world, exposure to ICT is critical in a student’s development.
SW Global takes pride not only in the solutions we offer, but also in the innovation of our financing model. Many educational institutions in developing countries are cash strapped and cannot procure expensive computer equipment and software systems, and vendor financing with payment made on a subscription basis allows the cost of ICT to be spread out to negligible fees borne by the system’s users.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) entered into partnership with SW Global in June 2002. This partnership was a part of IFC’s efforts to work with different financial intermediaries and smaller institutions, and to support companies that provide essential services to the education sector.
To this point, the Digital Bridge program has covered over fifty universities and polytechnics across Africa, and is currently being expanded into South Asia with launches set in all Universities in Sri Lanka.
In Liberia, the Digital Bridge Project made its public debut on Friday, April 27, 2007 at the main campus of the University of Liberia where President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf inaugurated the state-of-the-art digital centers.
In East Africa, Uganda's Makerere University Business School (MUBS) has been the company’s entry point after the roll out of US$1.5 million (Ush2.56 billion) ICT system on May 2, 2007 by Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni at the campus.