Johannesburg, February 06, 2006—
Mr. Lars Thunell, Executive Vice President of the International Finance
Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, will visit
Cameroon, February 6-8, 2006.
The visit underscores the importance and continuing commitment that IFC
attaches to its partnership with Cameroon. Mr. Thunell’s program will
include meetings with government officials as well as consultations with
local private sector representatives, donors, women entrepreneurs, and
IFC clients. Mr. Thunell will be accompanied by Mr. Paulo Gomes, Executive
Director of the World Bank Group, and Mr. Richard Ranken, IFC’s Director
These meetings will give Mr. Thunell an opportunity to discuss economic
and social developmental priorities for the country and to explore ways
to improve the business environment and promote more increased private
"Cameroon has tremendous potential, especially given its human capital
and natural resources. IFC will continue to support the country's
development efforts, including empowering the private sector as the main
engine of growth," said Mr. Thunell.
IFC’s strategy for Cameroon includes enhancing support to small and medium
enterprises, improving the business environment climate, and focusing more
on targeted sectors for direct investments.
In recent years, IFC’s investments in Cameroon have included:
- In 2005, a long-term loan financing
of $1.3 million to 3T Cameroon, a local logistics company, for the expansion
of its trucking fleet and the construction of its new office building.
- In 2005, a long-term loan financing
of $1 million to NOSA, a soap manufacturing company, for expansion of its
laundry soap factory and an upgrade of its water treatment facilities.
2004, a $1 million equivalent equity investment in Banque Internationale
pour le Commerce et l'Industrie du Cameroon (BICEC), part of IFC’s commitment
to support privatization in the country’s banking sector.
2003, a $2.5 million equivalent guarantee for financing of UC-Pharm’s
pharmaceuticals distribution in Cameroon.
2002, a $12.5 million financing to Orange for development of its mobile
phone communications network in the country.
2001 a $200 million financing for construction and operation of the Chad-Cameroon
IFC’s main advisory assignment in the country is the privatization of
Cameroon Airlines through a process known as "scission-liquidation."
This mandate is currently being implemented.
The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of
the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. IFC coordinates
its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but
is legally and financially independent. Its 178 member countries provide
its share capital and collectively determine its policies.
The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment
in developing and transition countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve
people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing
world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps
clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical
assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding
in 1956 through FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own
funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140
developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was
$19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants
in loan syndications.
In FY05, IFC committed 32 projects in 13 countries in the Sub-Saharan
Africa region for a total amount of $445 million. IFC’s total committed
portfolio for the region as of June 30, 2005, was about $2 billion.
Since its first investment in Cameroon in 1973, IFC has committed
financing in 36 projects amounting to $775 million. Investments include
$303 million for IFC’s own account and $471 million for the account of
banks participating in loan syndications. As of June 2005, Cameroon’s
portfolio was $120 million.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org.