Press Releases

IFC Investment in Oil Palm Firm to Boost Ghana’s Agribusiness Sector and Increase Rural Employment

In Accra:
Peter White
Phone: +233 21 513156/7

In Washington, DC:
Samuel Dzotefe
Phone: +1(202) 458-5179

In Johannesburg:
Houtan Bassiri
Phone: +27 11 7313179

Washington, D.C. / Accra, August 8, 2007 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement to provide financing to Ghana Oil Palm Development Company, one of Ghana’s leading firms in the oil palm sector. The $12.5 million, nine-year loan represents the largest IFC investment in the country’s agribusiness sector to date.

The investment will provide Ghana Oil Palm Development Company with long-term funding to complete its planting program, improve infrastructure, and expand its working capital. The long tenor loan will also provide the company with the flexibility to invest in oil palm, trees that typically start fruiting in their fourth year of growth.

“We are extremely pleased with our partnership with IFC. The financing will help expand our planting program to newly acquired plantations, as well as meet other critical business needs,” said Pierre Vandebeeck, Ghana Oil Palm Development Company’s Board Chairman. “The IFC loan is a vote of confidence in our firm.”

“Developing the agribusiness sector in Ghana is a priority for IFC because of its significant potential to create jobs and generate income in rural areas,” said Imoni Akpofure, IFC Country Manager for Ghana. “IFC is eager to support sponsors with good projects in the sector.”

“IFC is keen on developing the agribusiness sector in Sub-Saharan Africa and has recently expanded the number of staff focused on developing business in the region,” Oscar Chemerinski, IFC Senior Manager, Agribusiness. “This investment in Ghana Oil Palm Development Company demonstrates our confidence in the local economy and the future of the sector.”

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing capital in the international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that people have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY06, IFC committed $8.3 billion, including syndications, to 284 investments in 66 developing countries. For more information, please visit

About Ghana Oil Palm Development Company

Ghana Oil Palm Development Company was set up in 1975 by the government of Ghana, with support from the World Bank, to diversify the country’s cocoa-dependent cash crop base and promote local production of palm oil. The project included a strong outgrower program to boost rural income. It was privatized in 1995 and is currently a joint venture between the government and SIAT Ghana Limited. The company supplies crude palm oil and palm kernel oil to the domestic market. It will soon supply refined products as well, with the completion of its refinery and fractionation plant.