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IFC CEO Thunell Emphasizes Commitment to Ghana, World Bank Group Cooperation


In Accra:
Elinda Akosua Agyei
Phone: (233) 24 433 4529
E-mail: EAgyei@ifc.org

In Johannesburg:
Houtan Bassiri
Phone: +27 11 731 3179
E-mail: hbassiri@ifc.org

Accra, Ghana, June 16, 2010—Lars Thunell, Executive Vice President and CEO of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today said that IFC is committed to increasing its activities to support Ghana’s sustainable economic growth by working more closely with the World Bank, government, and private sector to create more opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses.

Thunell was speaking during a visit to Ghana, where he met with senior government officials including Vice President John Dramani Mahama, Minister of Finance Kwabena Duffuor, and Governor of the Bank of Ghana K.B. Amissah-Arthur.  He also met with private sector clients and donors to see how IFC can be a better partner to Ghana’s private sector.

“IFC will support Ghana’s commitment to rapid development with robust private sector investments,” said Thunell.  “To have the largest impact, IFC has worked closely with our colleagues at the World Bank to develop new initiatives that leverage our strengths and improve the lives of the people of Ghana.”

For example, IFC is collaborating with the government of Ghana and the World Bank’s International Development Association to provide credit and Advisory Services to micro, small, and medium enterprises.  The program is helping Ecobank Ghana extend more loans to smaller businesses, a key constraint to the private sector.  IFC also is providing financing to help develop the Jubilee oil field, which will help provide reliable and affordable energy to Ghana, building on the World Bank’s policy work to help implement better laws to govern the oil sector.

Thunell also will visit Cote d’Ivoire and Mali, where he will meet with private sector partners and government officials.  In Mali, he will participate in discussions on replenishing IDA funds and increasing collaboration across the World Bank Group.

IFC has rapidly increased its investments and Advisory Services programs in Ghana, making it IFC’s third-largest investment portfolio in Africa at the end of last fiscal year, after South Africa and Nigeria. IFC’s current investment portfolio in Ghana totals about $533 million.  IFC also implements numerous Advisory Services programs in the country, including projects to support smaller businesses, ease access to finance, and improve education.

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 capital for private enterprise, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.4 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.