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IFC Sees New Investment Opportunities in Ghana


In Accra
Kofi Tsikata
Phone: + (233) 21 229681
Email: Ktsikata@worldbank.org


Accra, January 31, 2007—IFC’s Executive Vice President, Lars Thunell, today committed to creating opportunities in Ghana by increasing investments and advisory services across a diverse range of private sector businesses. Expanding access to finance for entrepreneurs and smaller businesses, especially by supporting domestic financial institutions, is a high priority.

IFC is already on the move. From just $22 million at the end of the 2004 fiscal year, IFC's investment portfolio in Ghana has climbed to over $160 million today. IFC will support private provision of infrastructure; build and deepen the financial sector to encourage micro, small, and medium enterprises; assist sustainable mining projects; promote the development of nontraditional exports; and enhance the business environment.

“IFC aims to expand our development impact by rapidly growing our financial products and advisory services in Ghana,” said Mr. Thunell. “We will continue to build our business in key sectors, including agribusiness, education, financial services, housing, infrastructure, manufacturing, mining, and telecommunications.”

Mr. Thunell is visiting Ghana as part of a three-country visit to the region. Accompanying him are Thierry Tanoh, IFC’s Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, and Imoni Akpofure, Country Manager.

Mr. Thunell visited a number of IFC-supported projects in Ghana and held talks with government officials and private sector executives. He met Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama to discuss the country’s priorities for economic and social development. The two discussed enhanced private sector development and Ghana’s growing need for access to finance. They discussed power and how IFC and the private sector can build on projects currently underway and support efforts to provide more capacity.

Mr. Thunell commended Ghana for improving its business climate. Ghana is ranked among the world’s top 10 reformers in the IFC-World Bank 2007 Doing Business rankings. He noted that significant impediments to doing business remain and that further progress to improve the business environment is needed to encourage strong private sector development.

Mr. Thunell emphasized the importance of good business practices. “Good governance has a key role to play in successful private sector development,” he said. IFC contributes to the process of improving governance by supporting best practices at companies, encouraging transparency in privatization transactions and the extractive industries, and promoting efficient business regulation.

IFC’s approach to supporting private sector companies along with innovation is helping drive its expansion in Ghana. “IFC has a diverse range of financial products and advisory services to meet client needs and ensure a stronger development impact,” said Mr. Thunell.

IFC has been especially active in the country’s financial sector, helping banks become better established with international partners and providing targeted financing that helps banks reach small and medium enterprises. A recent example was an eight-year, $30 million loan to Barclays Bank Ghana that will support the development of export-oriented companies and small enterprises. IFC has also approved trade lines of $15 million to two domestic banks, Merchant Bank Ghana and The Trust Bank. In addition, IFC provided a risk sharing facility and advisory services to a local bank to develop private education in Ghana.

Through programs funded by Switzerland, IFC is supporting the development of Ghana’s leasing and housing mortgage industries.  

Ghana has been a member of IFC since 1958. To date, IFC has invested $636 million in 43 Ghanaian companies. IFC’s current portfolio consists of 13 investments totaling over $160 million.  

About IFC

The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral provider of financing for private enterprise in developing countries. IFC provides financial products for private sector investments, mobilizes capital in international financial markets, facilitates trade, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides advisory services to businesses and governments. From its founding in 1956 through FY06, IFC has committed more than $56 billion of its own funds for private sector investments in the developing world and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. With the support of funding from donors, it has also provided more than $1 billion in technical assistance and advisory services. For more information, visit www.ifc.org and www.ifc.org/africa.

In Johannesburg
Desmond Dodd
Phone: + (27) 83 448 9873
Email: ddodd@ifc.org

In Washington, DC
Rita Jupe
Phone: + 1 (202) 458 8967
Email: rjupe@ifc.org