Washington, D.C., April 11, 2014 – Switzerland
today agreed to contribute up to $18 million to IFC initiatives aimed at
strengthening corporate governance practices in Sub-Saharan Africa. It
is part of a larger agreement that will support such activities in multiple
regions and contribute to a partnership effort to create more and better
jobs. IFC is a member of the World Bank Group.
The Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs, or SECO, will provide up to
$4.5 million to IFC’s Advisory Services in Sub-Saharan Africa to help
private sector companies work with greater transparency, accountability.
Strong corporate governance practices help businesses expand their access
to capital and enter new markets. Activities will include training for
organizations such as institutes of directors and advising companies directly.
"The recent financial crisis is also a reminder of the global implications
of corporate governance failure,” said State Secretary Marie Gabrielle
Ineichen-Fleisch, ’’Together with IFC we want to set the right governance
benchmarks when supporting the private sector in development."
Building on previous regional experiences, an IFC corporate governance
program in South East Europe supported by SECO, IFC’s new program in Sub-Saharan
Africa will include interventions in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal
and South Africa, among others. The improvement of corporate governance
practices is widely seen as one important element in strengthening the
foundation for individual countries' long-term economic performance and
in contributing to a strengthened international financial system.
“Good corporate governance encourages new investments, boosts economic
growth, and provides employment opportunities,” said Jean Philippe Prosper,
IFC Vice President Vice-President for Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America
and the Caribbean. ”IFC’s partnership with SECO will support companies’
efforts to grow and create jobs while mitigating risks in the most effective
Cooperation between Switzerland and IFC Advisory Services dates back to
1989. SECO’s recent support to IFC Advisory Services in Sub-Saharan Africa
has totaled more than $40 million.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private
enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise,
and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity.
In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion,
leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the
world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) is Switzerland's competence
center for all core issues relating to economic policy. Its Economic Cooperation
and Development Division is responsible for the planning and implementation
of economic cooperation and development activities with middle income developing
countries, with countries of Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent
States (transition countries). Through its interventions, SECO seeks to
ease its partner countries' integration into the world economy and promote
economic growth that is socially as well as environmentally responsible
For more information, please visit http://www.seco-cooperation.admin.ch/index.html?lang=en