Barclays Africa to spend R1.4 billion on skills development

Barclays Africa CE Maria Ramos (pictured) recently announced that the bank will be partnering with clients, governments, NGOs and economic development agencies on a multimillion-rand shared growth initiative aimed at boosting education and skills development.

The initiative will see the bank commit some R1.4 billion to education and skills over a three-year period. It will also focus on raising a further R1.3 billion in funding for SMEs by the end of this financial year.

According Barclays, these funds will be made available to those SMEs with a sound business plan but lacking a strong-enough balance sheet to secure funding on their own. Details about specific corporate clients will be announced as agreements are concluded. Likewise for any development funding institutions with which Barclays partners.

Thus far, a partnership with the Department of Basic Education to train school governing bodies has already been concluded.