Yaounde, Cameroon, November 10, 2009—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, announced today that it will partner
with Ecobank Cameroon to increase lending to small and medium sized businesses
in Cameroon and help increase their share of global trade.
IFC will provide $8 million in guarantees
against Ecobank Cameroon’s underlying trade transactions, enabling the
bank to better cover the payment risk of its clients, many of which are
IFC will also provide advisory
services to help the bank increase lending to small and medium enterprises
by developing new loan products, streamlining procedures, and offering
advanced training to increase the skills of its staff.
“Our collaboration with IFC will
enable Ecobank Cameroon to better support small and medium enterprises,
which comprise a significant portion of Cameroon’s economy and often face
difficulty accessing credit,” said Babahady Marega, Ecobank Cameroon’s
Managing Director. “Ecobank Cameroon constantly strives to offer an innovative
range of products and services for our clients.”
The collaboration is the latest in a
series between IFC and the Ecobank Group, which have enjoyed a longstanding
relationship in facilitating commerce and economic development across Africa.
IFC has invested in a number of the group’s subsidiaries, as well as investing
in the group’s holding company in 1999 and 2008. IFC has also supported
improvements in the group’s governance structure and social and environmental
“The partnership with Ecobank Cameroon
reflects IFC’s strategy to improve trade with and between countries in
Sub-Saharan Africa and to support smaller businesses in Cameroon,” said
Yolande Duhem, IFC Director for Western and Central Africa. “IFC is committed
to creating a sustainable financial architecture that can provide financial
services to people and businesses that need them the most."
IFC is the only international financial
institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable
development in emerging markets. It is currently seeking a capital increase
to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing
countries, including support to smaller businesses.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development,
mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation
services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5
billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries
during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.