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