Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),
June 1, 2015—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Central
Bank of Congo signed an agreement that enables IFC to swap U.S dollars
for Congolese francs. IFC will use the swap to make franc-denominated investments
in the local private sector, supporting the country’s efforts to increase
the use of local currency in the economy.
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s economy is dollarized. This means that
it is a dual-currency economy, using both U.S. dollars and Congolese francs.
The majority of financial transactions—even simple ones carried out at
cash machines—are currently conducted in U.S. dollars.
The agreement increase IFC’s ability to make local-currency investments
in Congolese companies serving the domestic market. When companies borrow
in the currency in which they generate revenues, they avoid currency risk.
This enables companies to focus on growing their operations and creating
“The swap agreement with IFC will increase the availability of Congolese
francs in the domestic financial markets,” said Deogratias Mutombo Mwana
Nyembo, Governor of Central Bank of Congo. “This is an important step
forward in our efforts to de-dollarize the economy and develop the domestic
financial markets so they can meet the financing needs of the local private
Oumar Seydi, IFC regional director for East and Southern Africa, said:
“Supporting the DRC’s efforts to develop its financial and capital markets
is a priority for IFC. Through this agreement we are bringing an innovative
financing instrument to the country’s domestic financial markets that
expands the options entrepreneurs have to borrow from the local markets.”
IFC usually offers local currency loans by entering into swap agreements
with major international banks. International banks currently operating
in the country are currently not set up to provide feasible options for
exchanging U.S. dollars into francs. IFC has previously entered into similar
swap agreements with the National Bank of Rwanda and the Central Bank of
Over the years, IFC has provided over $12 billion in local-currency finance
in over 60 currencies through partial credit guarantees, risk-sharing facilities,
securitized structures, and other products.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private
enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and
influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives
in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org.