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IFC APPROVES FINANCING FOR SIX PROJECTS IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA


Asimina  Caminis


Washington, D.C., July 12 -- The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has approved financing totaling US$3.1 million equivalent for projects in Benin, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Ghana, Senegal, and Tanzania. All six projects approved will be financed through IFC's Africa Enterprise Fund (AEF), which supports smaller projects with costs between US$250,000 and US$5 million. IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral institution providing financing for private sector projects in developing countries. The Africa Project Development Facility (APDF), which is co-sponsored by IFC, the African Development Bank, and the United Nations Development Programme, provided advisory services in two of the projects.

AEF TO INVEST IN SHARE CAPITAL OF BANK IN BENIN
AEF will take a 5 percent equity stake, worth CFAF 86.3 million (US$314,000 equivalent), in Bank of AfricaBenin, Benin's largest commercial bank. The only financial institution with majority local ownership in Benin, the bank is increasing its capital base by CFAF 500 million (US$1.8 million equivalent). It plans to increase its products and services to meet the growth in demand that has followed the privatization of Benin's banking sector.


AEF TO MAKE LOAN TO FOOD-PROCESSING COMPANY IN CAMEROON
AEF will lend FF 5.6 million (US$1 million equivalent) to Primeurs Exotiques, a new food-processing company in Cameroon, which will process and package for export 3,000 tons of frozen green beans and 1,000 tons of frozen fruit per year. The company, which is being set up at an estimated cost of US$3.4 million equivalent, will employ about 2,000 farmers. It will supply the farmers with seed produced on its own 100-hectare seed farm. Its products will be distributed in the European Community by a Belgian trading firm.


AEF TO HELP FINANCE CONSTRUCTION OF HOTEL IN CAPE VERDE
AEF is to provide a loan of US$960,000 to help finance the construction of a 51-room business hotel in Praia, the capital of Cape Verde. The costs of constructing the hotel are estimated at US$4.2 million equivalent. The hotel, to be known as Hotel Tropico, will serve the growing number of foreign business travelers to Cape Verde and will be designed to meet international standards.


AEF TO MAKE LOAN TO POULTRY OPERATION IN GHANA
AEF will make a loan of US$360,000 to Afariwaa Farms and Livestock Products Ltd., an integrated poultry and feed mill operation in Ghana. The loan will help finance the company's US$900,000 equivalent modernization and expansion program. APDF will assist the company in the recruitment of new technical staff.


AEF TO MAKE LOAN TO AGRIBUSINESS COMPANY IN SENEGAL
AEF will provide a loan of FF 1.1 million (US$195,000 equivalent) to help finance the investment program of SociÈtÈ des Exportateurs du SÈnÈgal, a Senegalese company that produces fruit and vegetables for export to Europe. The company plans to install additional irrigation systems and acquire new farm equipment at an estimated cost of US$625,000 equivalent. This will enable it to increase production, improve product quality, and reduce production costs. APDF carried out a feasibility study for the project.


AEF TO PROVIDE LOAN TO BUS COMPANY IN TANZANIA
AEF is to make a loan of US$250,000 to Tanganyika Bus Services Company Limited in Tanzania to help finance the purchase of 25 thirty-seater minibuses. The expansion of the company's bus fleet, which now consists of 40 sixty-seater buses, will enable the company to serve less heavily trafficked routes in relatively isolated areas in western Tanzania.

African Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme