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Mozambique—IFC Builds Skills of Small Firms Working with Mozal Aluminum Smelter


In Washington, DC:
L. Joseph

Phone: +202 473 7700 - Fax: +202 974 4384

Email:
 ljoseph@ifc.org


Washington, D.C., 17, 2003—The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, will cofinance a capacity building program for small and medium enterprises in Mozambique. The program will support the business development of small enterprises that provide goods and services to Mozal, a $2.1 billion aluminum smelter in which IFC has invested.

IFC will provide $142,500 in grant financing to the German international human resources development organization, InWEnt (Internationale Weiterbildung und Entwicklung gGmbH), which will supervise the program through a partnership with IFC’s Africa Project Development Facility.  GFA Management GmbH, a German development consulting firm, will implement and manage the training program.  Local Mozambican partners include the Superior Institute of Sciences and Technology of Mozambique, which will present the training program in-house, and the local office of PricewaterhouseCoopers, which will facilitate post training assistance to consultants.


This initiative builds on an existing program supported by the IFC Linkages Team and Mozal that
links local small businesses to the Mozal Smelter. IFC recently determined that these enterprises need more outside expertise in such areas as safety, quality standards, production, and financial management. There are few local consultants who have the skills to meet these needs.

To improve the skills of local consultants and increase their numbers, an IFC team of small business experts identified InWEnt as a partner with a proven track record in training local consultants. InWEnt has developed a consultant capacity building program under the brand name PROCESS.  This is a modern, highly participative training method with practice-oriented content that includes the rendering of consulting services as an integral part of the learning process.  


IFC’s grant will finance the startup phase of the PROCESS program in Mozambique.  Activities will include information seminars to stimulate the demand for small business consulting services; PROCESS courses in which consultants receive training and become master trainers for future courses; training of local consultants in areas that Mozambican small businesses, particularly those linked to Mozal, need most; and diagnostics of Mozal-related small businesses as part of the consultant training course work.


The program includes both the qualification of business consultants and increased growth and competitiveness for Mozambican small businesses through professional consulting services. This effort will improve the capabilities of small businesses working with Mozal as well as those of other Mozambican businesses seeking future contracts with foreign investors.


Harold Rosen, director of IFC’s Small and Medium Enterprise Department, said, “IFC’s  commitment to cofinance the project with InWEnt demonstrates our continued support to Mozambique’s small business sector.  The program builds on the success of our previous work with Mozal in developing supply-chain links with small businesses, something we have been doing through the Africa Project Development Facility since 2001.”


The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives.  IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY02, IFC has committed more than $34 billion of its own funds and arranged $21 billion in syndications for 2,825 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC's worldwide committed portfolio as of FY02 was $15.1 billion for its own account and $6.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.


IFC's SME Department Linkages Team works closely with the Corporation's clients and partners worldwide to expand their local supply and distribution chains, create more opportunities for smaller businesses, and assist in sustainable community development efforts.