Press Releases

IFC Launches New Addis Ababa Office to Increase Activity to Support Ethiopia’s Economic Development

In Addis Ababa:
Gelila Woodeneh

In Johannesburg:
Houtan Bassiri
Telephone: +27 11 731 3179

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Tuesday 25 November 2008—Enhancing access to finance, developing infrastructure, improving the business environment, and investing in key economic sectors such as agribusiness and manufacturing are high priorities for IFC as it strives to expand its development impact in Ethiopia, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO Lars Thunell told reporters during his first visit to the country today.

Thunell is in Ethiopia on a two-day visit to officially open IFC’s Addis Ababa office. He is meeting with members of the private sector and key government officials, including H.E. Ato Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister; H.E. Ato Addisu Legesse, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development; H.E. Ato Girma Biru, Minister of Trade and Industry; H.E Ato Sufian Ahmed, Minister of Finance and Economic Development; and H.E. Ato Tekelewold Atenafu, Governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia.

“IFC’s new office in Ethiopia demonstrates our commitment to working with both the government and the private sector to support Ethiopia’s continued economic growth,” Thunell said. “IFC has the innovation, global expertise and scale to meet the needs and challenges of doing business in Ethiopia.”

IFC in 2008 committed a $55 million loan to Derba Midroc Cement, IFC largest investment to date in Ethiopia and its first since 1989. IFC is also considering developing the leasing the sector through an investment and advisory services that will help establish Ethiopia’s first leasing company.

IFC’s strategy in Ethiopia focuses on proactively developing new investment projects, supporting public-private partnerships that promote economic growth, and mobilizing direct investments to key sectors of the economy, including agribusiness, financial services, health and education, infrastructure, manufacturing, and tourism. IFC’s advisory services provides support to improve the investment climate, encourage entrepreneurs, and promote better access to finance through measures such as leasing.

About IFC
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