Monrovia, Liberia, May 29, 2009—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, today pledged to increase its investments
and advisory services support in Liberia to help the country strengthen
its private sector and create jobs as it rebuilds its economy.
During her first official visit to Liberia, IFC Vice President for Business
Advisory Services Rachel Kyte met with Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf,
key government officials, businessmen and women from various sectors, and
a cross-section of young people. She emphasized IFC’s support for Liberia’s
efforts to improve its investment climate, and its work helping smaller
businesses in the country become more competitive. She also highlighted
IFC’s recent investments in AccessBank Liberia, a new microfinance institution,
and the Salala Rubber Company.
Kyte said, “IFC is delivering on its commitment to support the private
sector’s contribution to Liberia’s economic recovery, job creation and
poverty reduction. Today we commit to strengthening our partnership with
Liberia to encourage reform and private sector investment that will improve
lives and help the economy thrive.” Kyte was accompanied by IFC’s Director
for West and Central Africa, Yolande Duhem, and Resident Representative,
IFC recently added staff to its Liberia office to better respond to local
business needs and identify new investment opportunities. IFC is also adapting
globally-recognized training products the SME Toolkit and Business Edge
for the Liberian market (see descriptions below).
IFC’s support for Liberia is part of a regional effort to encourage the
private sector to contribute more to redevelopment and poverty reduction
in economies adversely affected by previous conflicts.
IFC fully reengaged in Liberia in 2007, four years after the conclusion
of long-running civil wars that virtually destroyed the country’s economy.
IFC’s total committed portfolio in Liberia as of March 30, 2009
was $12.4 million, including a $10 million loan to Salala Rubber Company
and a $1.08 million equity investment in AccessBank Liberia.
Liberia was the first stop on Kyte’s two-country visit, which will also
take her to Sierra Leone, where she will discuss how IFC advisory services
and investments can have the greatest developmental impact on the recovery
of that country’s economy.
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 $16.2
billion in fiscal year 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About Business Edge
Business Edge is IFC’s comprehensive range of practical and flexible management
training products and services, specially designed to improve the performance
of small and medium firms. Successfully launched in Vietnam, it has since
been rolled out in 10 countries including China and in several countries
in the Middle East. For more information
on Business Edge, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About SME Toolkit
SME Toolkit is an innovation of IFC in partnership with IBM. It uses the
latest information and communication technologies to help small and medium
enterprises in emerging markets learn sustainable business management practices.
For more information on the SME Toolkit, visit www.smetoolkit.org.