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World Bank Group and Mali’s Government Launch Program to Support Smaller Businesses


In Bamako:
Moussa Diarra
Tel +(223) 222 22 83
E-mail mdiarra@worldbank.org

In Johannesburg:
Houtan Bassiri
Tel +27-11-731-3179
E-mail: hbassiri@ifc.org

In Washington, D.C.:
Lotte Pang
Tel +1 (202) 758 4290
E-mail:
LPang@ifc.org


Bamako, Mali, July 14, 2008—IFC and the World Bank today announced an agreement with the government of Mali to promote lending to small and medium enterprises and microfinance institutions. This is part of the government’s Sources of Growth Project, a $55 million initiative to promote private sector development.

Through a partnership between IFC, the World Bank’s International Development Association, and the Republic of Mali, banks in the country will receive a partial credit guarantee on a portfolio of new loans targeted to small and medium enterprises and microfinance institutions. They will also receive advisory services on international best practices for financing smaller businesses. IFC and the government will jointly select banks for the program.

IFC has also signed an agreement with Bank of Africa Mali, the first bank to join the program, to provide credit support on a portfolio of new loans for smaller businesses and microfinance institutions. This will enable the bank to generate about $13 million in new loans over the next three years. Bank of Africa Mali is receiving advice on reaching smaller businesses from Shorebank International, which has been contracted by Mali’s government.

“This risk-sharing program demonstrates the strong, long-term commitment of the Malian government and the World Bank Group to reducing poverty, strengthening the private sector, and boosting economic growth,” said Abou Bakar Traoré, Mali’s Minister of Finance.

“This program aligns with our strategy to meet the needs of Mali’s small and medium enterprises, a growing client base for our bank,” said Christophe Lassus-Lalanne, Managing Director of Bank of Africa Mali. “We are keen to start using this facility, and we are confident that our collaboration with the World Bank Group and Shorebank, our technical partner, will be successful.”

“Small and medium enterprises are a key potential source of employment and a crucial engine for economic growth in Mali,” said Alassane Diawara, World Bank Country Manager for Mali. “The collaboration between IFC and IDA is a model for mobilizing local currency financing in Sub-Saharan Africa,” added Aida Der Hovanessian, IFC Country Manager. “Such partnerships allow us to offer targeted programs and services that make financing more readily available to the region’s smaller businesses.”

Similar joint World Bank Group programs have been launched in Ghana and Madagascar, and another is envisaged in Senegal.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC's vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.