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IFC PROVIDES US$3.8 MILLION FOR SMALL BUSINESSES IN AFRICA


Amy Conran
Phone: (202) 473-9119
Fax: (202) 974-4384
E-mail: aconran@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 10—The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has approved loans and equity investments totaling US$4.3 million for nine projects in Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.
All of the projects will be financed through IFC's Africa Enterprise Fund (AEF), which supports small and medium companies undertaking projects with costs between US$250,000 and US$5 million. IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral source of financing for private sector projects in developing countries.
IFC SUPPORTS AGRIBUSINESS IN COTE D'IVOIRE AND GUINEA
IFC has approved a loan of US$500,0000 for Berdam International, an Ivoirian poultry farm, which produces both chickens and chicken feed for rural farmers. The IFC financing will be used to rehabilitate the farm's feedmill, construct storage facilities and an office building, and establish new hatcheries and incubators. Berdam's locally supplied chicken feed is expected to increase chicken farming activities in the interior of Cote d'Ivoire.
Agro Investment Company, a Guinean agribusiness firm, is also to receive IFC financing in the form of a French Franc 1.2 million loan (US$220,000 equivalent). Agro, which produces melon and watermelon for export to European markets during the off season, is modernizing its irrigation system by upgrading to a more efficient drip program. The new technology will increase the farm's production and improve the quality of its produce.
GHANAIAN TECHNOLOGY FIRM TO RECEIVE US$670,000
A US$670,000 loan has been approved by IFC for Network Computer Systems Ltd., an information technology services company based in Accra. The company will use the IFC financing to expand and upgrade its electronic and Internet services. Network Computer Systems will introduce an Electronic Data Interchange service to provide links for business-to-business electronic commerce, expand its Internet subscriber base, and create private data networks. The expansion program is anticipated to help meet the growing demand for efficient electronic communications by Ghanaian businesses.
US$307,000 APPROVED FOR APARTMENT COMPLEX IN MALAWI
IFC has approved a loan of US$307,000 for Ufulu Gardens, an apartment complex in Lilongwe. The complex, which will have 17 fully furnished apartments, will be geared primarily to short-term tenants either visiting or relocating to Lilongwe or when current hotel accommodation is unavailable. The complex will include a garden and recreational facilities. Ufulu Gardens is the first complex of its type in Lilongwe.
NIGERIAN PRINTING COMPANY TO RECEIVE IFC LOAN
Minaj Printers Ltd. is a full service printing facility that produces annual reports, brochures, calendars, greeting cards, and business forms for local clients. The demand for local printing jobs has risen significantly in the last few years as a result of developments in the stock markets and recent privatizations of Nigerian state owned enterprises. Minaj will use the IFC financing of US$500,000 to improve its printing technology and expand its printing, light packaging and labeling services.
IFC APPROVES US$400,000 FOR TANZANIAN MINERAL WATER COMPANY
IFC has approved a US$400,000 loan to help establish Drop of Zanzibar, a mineral water bottling plant and bottle manufacturing facility in Jendele Village, 18 kilometers from Zanzibar City. Drop of Zanzibar will use fresh underground spring water and market its products to both tourists and locals consumers. The company is expected to employ approximately 40 people and will support Tanzania's tourism industry by providing high quality drinking water.
US$650,000 APPROVED BY IFC FOR ZAMBIAN GEMSTONE COMPANY
IFC approved a loan of US$650,000 for the establishment of Premier Lapidary Ltd., a company which will buy, cut, and polish rough gemstones. Premier Lapidary will purchase the gemstones including emeralds, aquamarines, amethysts, and tourmalines from local traders and from the main Zambian mines. The stones will then be processed into facets, cabochons, and beads and exported to the world market. The project is expected to contribute significantly to exports, while providing more than 90 jobs.
ZIMBABWEAN SAFARI LODGE TO BENEFIT FROM IFC FINANCING
IFC has approved a loan of US$570,000 for the establishment of Inyathi Valley Motel and Rest Camp in the Victoria Falls Area of Zimbabwe. Over the past five years, growth in Zimbabwe's tourism sector has resulted in an increase of visitors to the resorts of the Lake Kariba and Victoria Falls. Inyathi Valley Motel will provide affordable accommodations for budget travelers. The lodge will be developed on an 11 acre site on the fringes of Victoria Falls town. When completed, it will have 17 chalets, dormitory accommodations, and camping facilities.