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IFC OPENS SENEGAL MISSION


Michael Stopford
Phone: (1-202) 458-4698
Fax: (1-202) 974-4384
E-mail: mstopford@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 9--The President of the World Bank Group, James Wolfensohn, today officially opened the Dakar mission of the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The new IFC mission will provide support for business ventures in Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, and Senegal.

The mission headed by Mr. Souleymane Traore, a senior investment officer with significant expertise in the sub-region, will provide small- and medium-sized enterprises with medium-term financing resources and technical assistance. In addition, IFC will seek opportunities for investment in the infrastructure, mining, tourism, and agribusiness sectors.


IFC's presence in Senegal is part of the "Extending IFC's Reach Initiative," a program to expand the geographic range of IFC's activities to smaller and poorer countries and countries undergoing particularly difficult transitions to market economies. Sixteen countries, or clusters of neighboring countries, have been selected for the program. A list of countries follows this release.


The Extending IFC's Reach Initiative was established to promote private sector development in countries where IFC's activity has been severely constrained as a result of challenging country conditions and obstacles to private sector activity.


In each of the selected countries, IFC is placing investment staff in the field to provide an extended IFC presence in the country. Field staff will cultivate relationships with local entrepreneurs, the financial and legal communities, government authorities and representatives of other multilateral and bilateral development institutions. They will work closely with clients to develop viable projects.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral source of financing for private sector companies in developing countries.



COUNTRIES TARGETED FOR EXTENDING IFC'S REACH INITIATIVE


Albania
Azerbaijan
Bosnia-Herzegovina
Cambodia and Lao People's Democratic Republic
Central Africa: (Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon)
El Salvador
Ethiopia and Eritrea
FYR Macedonia
Guyana and Eastern Caribbean: (Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, and St. Lucia)
Kazakstan
Mongolia
Mozambique
Senegal and Western Africa (Mauritania, Mali, The Gambia, Guinea, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau)
Slovak Republic
Uzbekistan
West Bank and Gaza