Niamey, Niger, December 15, 2008—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is seeking to extend its support of Niger’s
private sector, particularly in the country’s agribusiness, financial
and general manufacturing, retail, and service sectors, where developmental
impact can be greatest, IFC Vice President Thierry Tanoh said during his
first visit to the country in this capacity.
Tanoh, accompanied by IFC’s new Director
for Western and Central Africa Yolande Duhem, met with businesspeople and
key government officials, including Nigerien President Mamadou Tandja and
Prime Minister Seyni Oumarou.
“The private sector will play an increasingly
important role in creating jobs and reducing poverty in Niger," Tanoh
said. "IFC will work with the government of Niger to help create a
business environment more suitable for private sector investment to help
build a vibrant and inclusive economy."
Tanoh and members of Niger’s government
and private sector discussed ways in which IFC could support the implementation
of reforms identified by the IFC-World Bank Investment Climate Assessment
for Niger to build a business environment more attractive to private sector
investment. They also discussed potential partnerships with local banks
to increase their lending to small and medium enterprises.
IFC’s strategy in Niger focuses on
supporting private sector involvement in agribusiness, infrastructure,
manufacturing and mining. Niger ranked 172 out of 181 countries in the
IFC-World Bank Doing Business 2009 report, which lists countries
based on the ease of doing business.
Niger was the first stop on Tanoh’s
four country visit with IFC partners in West Africa. Tanoh will also travel
to Mali, Togo and his native Cote d’Ivoire to discuss how IFC advisory
services and investments can have the greatest developmental impact on
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.