Lusaka, Zambia, November 9, 2010
– IFC Executive Vice President and CEO Lars Thunell today recognized
Zambia for being one of the top ten most improved economies for the ease
of doing business this year and pledged IFC would do more to help the country
grow its economy, especially by supporting its important agriculture sector.
IFC is a member of the World Bank Group.
During his second visit to Zambia, Thunell
had scheduled meetings with Zambian President Rupiah Banda, Vice President,
George Kunda, Minister of Finance and National Planning, Situmbeko Musokotwane,
and other Zambian ministers, including the minister of trade, commerce
and industry, business leaders, and IFC clients and partners. Thunell also
visited a beef producer outside Lusaka, where he discussed ways IFC could
increase its support for Zambian agriculture.
“Zambia has made a number of important
regulatory changes that will spur growth and attract investment and I congratulate
the country for being among the global top 10 economies for improving the
ease of doing business,” Thunell said. “IFC is committed to supporting
Zambia’s long-term growth and future reform efforts and will work with
business and government leaders to help the country strengthen its agriculture
Over the last year, Zambia made it easier
to start a business and for companies to trade across borders. It also
improved enforcement of contracts. These reforms helped Zambia jump 8 places,
from 84 to 76, in the World Bank Group’s Doing Business Report, which
ranks countries around the world according to their ease of doing business.
IFC has been working closely with
Zambia’s public and private sectors, supporting their efforts to increase
the ease of doing business in the country, strengthen the private sector,
and to diversify the economy beyond mining.
To support Zambia’s agriculture sector,
IFC launched the Zambia Emerging Farmers Program in 2008. The program is
helping smaller farmers access the financing and support they need to grow
their businesses and make a bigger impact on the country’s economy.
Working with Zambia National Commercial
Bank (Zanaco) and the Zambia National Farmers Union, IFC expects to help
300 farmers acquire loans averaging $50,000 each over the next three years.
IFC, which has commitments in Zambia totaling
$65.7 million, is seeking to increase its investments and advisory programs
in the country with a focus on the mining, agribusiness, tourism, financial,
energy and other important sectors.
While in Africa, Thunell will also travel
to Malawi, where he will meet with government officials and private sector
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