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IFC APPROVES FINANCING FOR FOUR PROJECTS IN AFRICA


Asimina Caminis


TThe International Finance Corporation (IFC) has approved loans and equity investments totaling US$10 million for projects in Ghana, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. Three of the loans approved will be made by IFC's Africa Enterprise Fund (AEF), which finances smaller projects with costs between $250,000 and $5 million. IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral institution providing financing for private sector projects in developing countries.

AEF TO FINANCE TWO SMALL GHANAIAN MANUFACTURERS
AEF is to help finance the modernization and expansion programs of two Ghanaian companies, Ghana Household Utensils Manufacturing Company Limited (GHUMCO), one of Ghana's largest manufacturers of household utensils, and Pharmaplast Limited, a producer of plastic containers and closures for the pharmaceutical industry. A loan of US$570,000 from AEF will help finance GHUMCO's US$1.4 million investment program, enabling the company to acquire new equipment and expand its operations to meet growing domestic demand for its products. AEF has helped GHUMCO identify an investment partner and advised the company on compliance with environmental standards related to workers' safety. Ghana Commercial Bank is providing additional financing. AEF's US$200,000 loan to Pharmaplast will help finance a $538,000 investment program. The company plans to diversify its product lines, increase production capacity, improve product quality, and strengthen management information systems. Merchant Bank of Ghana has approved a standby l

ine of credit of cedis 30 million (the equivalent of US$55,000) to finance short-term working capital.


IFC APPROVES FINANCING FOR TOURISM PROJECT IN TANZANIA
IFC has approved loans and equity investments of $9 million for Tourism Promotion Services (Tanzania) Limited, to help finance the construction of three lodges and a tented camp in the Northern Safari Circuit of Tanzania. IFC is to provide a senior loan of US$7 million, a subordinated loan of US$1 million, and an equity investment of US$1 million equivalent. The US$32.5 million project will be managed by Serena Tourism Promotion Services of Switzerland, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, the project sponsor. Additional loan and equity financing is being provided by Britain's Commonwealth Development Corporation and the Tanzania National Provident Fund. Foreign shareholders will raise Tanzanian shillings for their equity investments through Tanzania's debt conversion program. This is expected to reduce the foreign exchange cost of these investments by about 50 percent. The lodges and camp, which will be of four- to five-star quality, will be located outside Lake Manyara Na

tional Park, on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, and in the Serengeti National Park. The project is expected to benefit Tanzania's conservation efforts, as it will provide revenues to Park and Conservation Area authorities, reduce poaching, and promote the welfare of local communities.


AEF TO MAKE LOAN TO NEW ZIMBABWEAN FOOD-PROCESSING COMPANY
AEF is to lend US$300,000 to Tropico Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd, a new Zimbabwean company that will produce semi-dried tropical fruit using a technology developed by a U.K. company, Tropico Plc. Fruit dried using the new technology, known as "plasmolysis," retains its original appearance and has strong flavor, good texture, and a long shelf life. Tropico Zimbabwe will produce 300 tons annually of dried fruit, including kiwis, pineapples, mangoes, papayas, peaches, and pears, in addition to fruit juices and other confectioneries. Tropico Plc will continue to provide technical support as needed to Tropico Zimbabwe and will market the company's products in the United Kingdom. Tropico Zimbabwe is expected to earn more than US$3 million in foreign exchange annually once it reaches full capacity. The cost of establishing the new company, which will employ approximately 100 people, is estimated at US$800,000. Venture Capital Company of Zimbabwe is providing up to US$172,000 in equity financing. The project is sponsored by f

ive local commercial farmers, two industrialists who will oversee all the engineering and technical work, and an agronomist. (30)

Africa Enterprise Fund