Rabat, Morocco, December 19, 2013—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a loan of up to $20 million
to Attawfiq Micro-Finance, part of an effort to help micro enterprises
in Morocco and drive economic development across the country.
IFC will also advise the lender, one
of the country’s leading microfinance institutions, as it develops products
tailored to micro businesses. The support will allow Attawfiq Micro-Finance
to reach out to a greater number of these firms, which form the backbone
of Morocco’s economy but often struggle to obtain financing. Attawfiq
Micro-Finance is a subsidiary of Banque Centrale Populaire group.
“Our partnership with IFC facilitates
our truly social mission, and helps us contribute to the economic and financial
inclusion of a large part of the population who cannot get access to the
traditional banking sector,” said Mohamed Benchaaboun, chairman of Banque
Centrale Populaire group.
The project is part of IFC’s strategy
to partner with local banks and channel lending to where it is needed most.
“Micro enterprises are vital to driving
growth in Morocco and the wider region, and this partnership will help
support those firms,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director for the Middle
East and North Africa. “At the same time, it should signal to prospective
investors the growth potential of the microfinance industry in Morocco."
The project is the latest partnership
between IFC and Banque Centrale Populaire, one of Morocco’s leading lenders.
Last fiscal year, IFC invested $204 million in the bank, helping it expand
operations and support smaller businesses in Morocco and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The advisory portion of the project
is funded by the Middle East and North Africa Micro, Small, and Medium
Enterprise Facility, which is jointly managed by IFC and the World Bank.
The program provides advice and financial support to smaller business across
The Attawfiq Micro-Finance partnership
is part of IFC’s efforts to support economic growth in Morocco. During
the 2013 fiscal year, which ended on June 30, IFC committed around $272
million in the country. Those investments were designed to bolster the
financial sector, allow Moroccan companies to expand into new markets,
and provide young people with the skills they need to find jobs. At the
same time, IFC ramped up its advisory work, helping companies conserve
resources, combat climate change, and resolve commercial disputes quickly.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the
private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries,
we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme
poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed
to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the
private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development
challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
About Attawfiq Micro-Finance
Attawfiq Micro-Finance is a non-government
micro-finance institution created in March 2000 by Groupe Banque Populaire
to contribute to the effort to eliminate poverty. Attawfiq Micro-Finance
provides microloans to economically vulnerable individuals, including women
and unemployed youth, to help them become active participants in Morocco’s