The contract will be worth $300 m and will follow a structure similar to PFI deals in the UK where construction partners will build and maintain the schools for 15 years, while the government gradually pays off the debt. The IFC hopes to award contracts and finalise the financing in the new year.

In addition the IFC is also working on a large hospital PPP involving the construction of eight new hospitals, the Cairo-Alexandria toll road, and a water transport scheme in Cairo. All these deals are structured as build operate transfer agreements.

Towfique Haque, investment officer for the IFC, says most of these deals will involve copying the UK’s PFI financing model fairly closely, with the IFC likely to lend some money to the project to boost confidence in the projects by international banks.