Johannesburg, May 13, 2008—Rachel
Kyte, Vice President of Business Advisory Services at IFC, a member
of the World Bank Group, today called for more private investment in South
Africa’s infrastructure sector. She said that IFC is ready to engage with
other stakeholders to find solutions to the country’s power shortage and
increase private investment in health, education, and other social infrastructure.
“IFC seeks to expand its advisory services to governments and increase
investments in the region’s infrastructure,” said Kyte, “We can add
value by lending our expertise to governments in structuring private sector
participation in infrastructure projects, and by helping private companies
improve their energy efficiency.”
Kyte was in South Africa on her first visit to the region in her new capacity
as Vice President, to review IFC projects and engage stakeholders on ways
to improve the climate for private sector investment. She visited Lonmin
Plc, one of South Africa’s leading platinum miners.
IFC has invested $150 million to support Lonmin’s expansion and $6 million
more toward a joint initiative to increase supply opportunities for small
and medium enterprises and in community development activities surrounding
the company’s mining area.
“IFC has a significant presence in South Africa, through investments in
Lonmin and other projects. We want to do more with partners to develop
sustainable projects that empower local communities and serve previously
underserved markets such as small and medium enterprises,” said Kyte.
Kyte drew attention to the business value that companies can create through
greater attention to environmental and social issues. She is a leader within
IFC in demonstrating how high standards are good for business and help
develop markets. She emphasized that companies can manage risk better and
find new business opportunities related to sustainability by adopting good
environmental and social practices.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth
in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing
private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing
advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC's
vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and
improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized
an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance
for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory
services in 97 countries. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
In FY07, IFC committed $1.4 billion to 52 projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Of this, $172 million went to infrastructure projects. IFC has been active
in infrastructure since the 1990s and has arranged private infrastructure
transactions worth nearly $4.8 billion in more than 46 developing countries.
IFC has also carried out numerous advisory mandates to help African governments
develop airports, power plants, railways, and other infrastructure. Major
ongoing infrastructure initiatives in Africa by IFC include IFC
Infraventures, a $100 million fund, through which IFC will provide early
stage risk capital, feasibility studies, and advisory services on financial
modeling and project structuring.