Press Releases

IFC Sees New Investment Opportunities in Senegal

In Dakar
Aida der Hovanessian
Phone:  +221 8495045

In Johannesburg
Houtan Bassiri
Phone:  +27 11 731-3179

Dakar, March 20, 2007 — IFC’s Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, Thierry Tanoh, said that creating opportunities for private businesses and entrepreneurs in a wide range of sectors is a high priority for IFC as it strives to expand its development impact in Senegal. Speaking during his first trip to the country as director, Mr. Tanoh revealed plans to expand engagement with the country’s private sector, especially in the agribusiness, tourism, power, manufacturing, mining, and infrastructure sectors.

The two-day visit highlighted IFC’s commitment to and partnership with Senegal. Mr. Tanoh met with government officials including HE Mr. Abdoulaye Diop, Minister of State, Minister of Economy and Finance and HE Mr. Madické Niang, Minister of Energy and Mining. He also met with development partners, representatives from the private sector, and IFC clients.

“IFC is working with companies across a variety of sectors to help promote the private sector through encouraging best practices in Senegal,” said. Mr. Tanoh. “We support the government’s efforts to improve the business climate and are looking for new opportunities and sectors in which we can participate.”

Mr. Tanoh’s remarks came after IFC announced a loan of up to 20 million euros to Sococim Industries to help meet the growing demand for cement in Senegal and significantly raise the company’s environmental standards. Sococim will use the funds to install a new state-of-the-art environmentally friendly cement production line with a capacity to produce 3,500 metric tons of clinker per day. It will also build a new 24-megawatt power plant, easing pressure on Senegal’s national grid, and build Africa’s first vertical cement mill to increase energy efficiency.

IFC’s strategy for Senegal, both in terms of financial products and advisory services, is focused on three main pillars:

·        Improving the investment climate
·        Building up the capacity of micro, small, and medium enterprises and that of institutions that can support them
·        Developing projects in infrastructure, financial sector and the priority areas as set out in the accelerated growth strategy of the government.  These are the tourism, agribusiness, telecommunications, high-technology, and manufacturing sectors.

Mr. Tanoh said that IFC is currently exploring a number of new projects in Senegal that will help strengthen the country’s banks and other financial institutions. He said these projects are likely to result in risk sharing facilities, partial credit guarantees, and participation by a number of local banks in IFC’s global trade finance facility. The Corporation is also working with financial institutions to enable them to better reach smaller businesses, he said.

In FY06 ending in June, IFC committed $20.6 million to projects in Senegal. As of February 28, 2007, IFC’s committed portfolio in the country totaled $85.8 million dollars. Since its first investment and as of June 30, 2006, IFC has committed financing to 20 projects in Senegal amounting to $133.3 million.

About IFC

IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, promotes open and competitive markets in developing countries.  IFC supports sustainable private sector companies and other partners in generating productive jobs and delivering basic services, so that people have opportunities to escape poverty and improve their lives. Through FY06, IFC Financial Products has committed more than $56 billion in funding for private sector investments and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC Advisory Services and donor partners have provided more than $1 billion in program support to build small enterprises, to accelerate private participation in infrastructure, to improve the business enabling environment, to increase access to finance, and to strengthen environmental and social sustainability. For more information, please visit