Accra, Ghana, December 3, 2010–IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, and Switzerland’s State Secretariat
for Economic Affairs (SECO) are providing training in trade finance to
bankers from seven countries in West and East Africa to help banks improve
their trade finance operations, reduce risks and better serve small and
medium businesses in the region.
This training is part of IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program, established
in 2005 to promote trade flows between emerging markets, increase developing
countries’ share of global trade, and support flow of goods and services
between these countries.
Twenty-five bankers from 10 banks in seven countries – Benin, Burkina
Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, and Senegal – participated
in a five-day training session in Accra from November 29 to December 3.
To close the training, a session was held between one of the banks and
their small business clients. The week-long training was the seventh held
in Accra by IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program.
Georgina Baker, IFC Director Short Term Finance, said, “Through its Global
Trade Finance Program, IFC is supporting increased trade in Africa. Providing
training is an important part of the program’s efforts to help banks in
emerging markets provide trade finance to importers and exporters, particularly
small and medium enterprises.”
The Head of SECO’s Cooperation at the Swiss Embassy in Ghana, Martin Saladin,
said, “Switzerland is keen to strengthen the financial sector in order
to promote access to finance for the private sector. Training is knowledge
and therefore key for practitioners.”
IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program offers confirming banks partial or
full guarantees on payment obligations in the emerging markets for trade-related
transactions. IFC’s trade advisory program is an integral component of
this larger program and is designed to help local banks build their trade
The advisory program provides banks and other financial institutions with
training and support to upgrade their skills in structuring basic and complex
trade finance transactions, improve their techniques for mitigating trade
finance risk, upgrade the operational and technical skills of their trade
finance back offices, and transfer current international best practices
in trade finance to local markets.
In Africa, more than 1000 bankers from 26 countries have benefited from
60 IFC trade finance training courses since 2006.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create
opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do
so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply
essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering
advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global
economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion
in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) is the centre of
expertise for planning and implementing Switzerland’s economic and trade-policy
measures in developing and transition countries world-wide. SECO's main
aims are to integrate partner countries into the global economy and to
promote the sustainable economic growth of these countries, thus contributing
to poverty reduction.
Ghana is an important focus of Switzerland’s development assistance. Switzerland’s
development coopration with Ghana is concentrated in four main areas: macroeconomic
policies and transparency in public finances; financial sector development
and strengthening; trade, competition and investment climate; and basic
infrastructure regulation and public utilities improvement in the energy
sector, for more information visit: http://www.seco.admin.ch