Lagos, Nigeria June 29, 2011 - IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is partnering with the Bank of Sierra
Leone and the Equipment Leasing Association of Nigeria to expand the use
of leasing in Sierra Leone so smaller businesses in the country can more
easily acquire the equipment or vehicles they need to grow.
The three organizations recently hosted
an investment forum in Lagos that showcased leasing as an alternative financing
mechanism ideally suited to smaller businesses that cannot afford to purchase
expensive pieces of equipment. Nigeria hosted the event because it boasts
a strong leasing industry that is able to attract investors from across
Africa and other regions.
Public and private sector organizations,
including domestic and foreign banks operating in Sierra Leone, the country’s
National Revenue Authority, and its Investment and Export Promotion Agency,
all attended the Lagos forum. Sierra Leone’s first independent leasing
company, Consumer Finance and Leasing, also participated in the forum.
Riadh Naouar, Program Manager for the
IFC Africa Leasing Facility, said, “IFC is actively engaged in Sierra
Leone, supporting private sector growth in the country to help it recover
from years of conflict. Expanding the use of leasing with a solid investment
model, strategic partners, and local sponsors is an excellent way to support
the growth of smaller businesses in Sierra Leone, which already offers
a favorable legal and regulatory environment for leasing.”
Investors represented by ELAN came from
East and West Africa, as well as Europe, Asia and North America to participate
in the forum, where they were given detailed information about how to launch
leasing investments in Sierra Leone.
Kehinde Lawanson, Chairman of the Equipment
Leasing Association of Nigeria, said, “ELAN is very optimistic about the
enthusiasm of Sierra Leone’s government to create the right ingredients
and foundations for leasing. As investors, we will definitely consider
Sierra Leone a leading investment destination.”
IFC’s Leasing Facility Program in Sierra
Leone is training private enterprises, business associations, financial
institutions and regulatory agencies on the use of leasing. The program
also offers consulting services to the leasing industry.
Leasing is a core component of IFC’s
strategy for helping develop financial markets, especially in countries
recovering from conflict. Over the past 30 years, IFC has financed 126
leasing projects in 58 countries globally.
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