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
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.
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.