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IFC INVESTS US$2.5 MILLION IN SMALL AND MEDIUM PROJECTS IN FOUR WEST AFRICAN COUNTRIES


L. Joseph
Phone: (202) 473-7700
Fax: (202) 974-4384
E-mail: ljoseph@ifc.org


DAKAR, SENEGAL—October 27, 1999 — The International Finance Corporation through its Small Enterprise Fund (under Extending IFC's Reach Initiative) is supporting the private sector in West Africa with four investments totaling about US$2.5 million in small and medium projects, including a quarry, a printing and publishing factory, a seaside resort club, and a modern butchery.
Mr. Souleymane Traoré, IFC's Regional Coordinator based in Dakar, Senegal, said the new investments are in line with IFC's recently announced strategy in sub-Saharan Africa, which gives priority to small and medium enterprises. He added that IFC's financing will help to overcome the scarcity of long-term sources of funding in the region, be regarded as a positive signal to other investors and financing institutions, and assist in the building of the private sector.
Extending IFC's Reach Initiative is a program to expand the geographic range of IFC's activities to developing countries that face challenging conditions, limited flows of foreign investment, and other constraints to private sector growth. The $40 million Small Enterprise Fund was created under the Initiative to target small investments costing less than $5 million.
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private sector investment in developing countries, which will reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.
Stone Crushing Company in Cape Verde Receives $1.5 Million Investment

IFC will invest $1.5 million in Central de Britagem, a stone crushing company in Praia, Cape Verde that will produce sand, gravel, and concrete blocks. IFC's investment will help the company acquire stone crushing equipment to produce up to 1.2 million tons per year of gravel, sand, and concrete blocks. The plant will use basalt rock as its main raw material. Besides adding value to abundant natural resources, the project will contribute to the protection of beach sand, which is currently being over extracted, create 42 jobs, and reduce the need for imports.
Printing and Publishing Company in Mali Receives $434,000 Investment

IFC has approved a guarantee that will allow Imprim Color, a printing and publishing company in Bamako, Mali, to obtain a local currency loan of CFAF 260,400,000 ($434,000). Imprim Color will expand and upgrade its production capacity to meet the growing demand for school books. Creating facilities for the local printing and publishing of school books will have a positive impact on Mali's educational system by making books readily and cheaply available and improve the country's literacy rate. The project will also result in substantial foreign currency savings.
Tourist Complex in Mauritania Receives $400,000 Investment

An IFC loan of $400,000 to Lemhar in Mauritania will be used for the construction of a seaside resort club, 30 km from Nouakchott. The project will exploit the country's potential for tourism and meet the growing demand for resort hotels. Besides developing the tourism sector, the hotel will also provide employment and generate foreign exchange.
Butchery in Senegal Receives $140,000 Investment

IFC approved a guarantee for SADIA in Senegal to obtain a local currency loan of CFAF 84,000,000 ($140,000). The company will construct a modern butchery, including a retail outlet, storage and refrigeration facilities, and offices. The butchery will provide good quality affordable meat to consumers. By establishing the project in an expanding residential area of Dakar, the company will diversify and broaden its client base. The investment will also be in line with the government's strategy to sustain growth through larger private sector participation.