Accra, Ghana, September 19, 2008—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated
announced that they are joining forces to strengthen Africa’s banking
sector and increase lending to small and medium enterprises that have difficulty
IFC will provide a financing package
of up to $213 million to Ecobank, consisting of a $100 million convertible
loan to support the bank’s regional expansion, a $25 million loan and
advisory services to Ecobank Nigeria to promote lending to smaller businesses,
and up to $88 million in guarantees against the underlying trade transactions
of several Ecobank subsidiaries—including those in Benin, Burkina Faso,
Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo.
IFC also plans to work with Ecobank
to increase financing for critical sectors, including agribusiness, education,
health, housing, and infrastructure.
“In the past three years, we have strengthened
our network and operations across Africa, which has allowed us to reach
a larger number of people more efficiently and increase our impact,” said
Arnold Ekpe, Ecobank’s CEO. “Working with IFC will enable us to reach
even more regions and contribute more directly to economic development.”
“Improving access to finance and building
strong financial markets are a key focus of IFC’s strategy to strengthen
the private sector in Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Yolande Duhem, IFC Director
for West and Central Africa. “Working with Ecobank’s extensive network
will enable us to have a greater development impact in the region.”
Ecobank has collaborated with IFC on many projects over the past 15 years.
In 2007, IFC provided $40 million in funding to Ecobank Ghana.
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 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous
year. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
Incorporated in 1985, Ecobank Transnational
Incorporated is the parent company of the leading independent regional
banking group in Africa. The bank is listed on the stock exchanges in Côte
d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria. The Ecobank Group operates in 25 African
countries and is owned by more than 7,000 shareholders. The group has over
8,000 employees in about 500 branches. Ecobank is a full-service bank that
provides wholesale, retail, investment, and transaction banking services
and products to governments; financial institutions; multinationals; international
organizations; micro, small, and medium businesses; and individuals.
For more information, visit www.ecobank.com.