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IFC Highlights Growing Support for Senegal, West and Central Africa


In Dakar:
Kimberlee A. Brown, IFC

Phone: +221 33 859 7126

E-mail:
kbrown@ifc.org


Dakar, August 26, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signaled further commitment to increasing private sector investment and advisory services in Senegal and West and Central Africa at the release of its annual operational results. Director for West and Central Africa, Yolande Duhem, highlighted recent trade finance transactions, IFC’s growing regional relationships, and commitment to expand its work in the power sector.

During the fiscal year that ended in June 2009, IFC increased its investment in Sub-Saharan Africa to $1.8 billion reaching 30 countries, up from $1.4 billion in 25 countries the previous year. Of the $1.8 billion, IFC provided $1.0 billion in new financing to businesses in West and Central Africa, a 58 percent increase.  IFC Advisory Services in Africa also increased its volume in Sub-Saharan Africa by 35 percent to $38 million and doubled its work in conflict-affected countries.


“Reaching Africa’s smaller markets is a top priority for IFC,” said IFC Director for West and Central Africa, Yolande Duhem. “Through innovative financing, increased advisory services, and working together with partners who share our commitment to African development, we have been able to finance more businesses in West and Central Africa.”


Among IFC’s major transactions in Senegal and West Africa in the fiscal year ended June 2009 was a $2 million trade finance line to Ecobank Senegal, part of a regional financing of more than $200 million to Togo-based Ecobank Transnational, Inc.


In FY09, Dakar was named IFC’s subregional hub for West and Central Africa as part of a broader commitment to do more business in the region. In Senegal, in particular, IFC aims to support improved infrastructure, especially in the power sector. IFC has previously invested in the Kounoune independent power project and expects to do more to support rural electrification.


IFC continued to extend its regional reach in Africa to countries where it has traditionally been less active. IFC last year committed its first investment in Sao Tome and Principe, which became an IFC member state in October 2008, by providing a trade finance line of $1 million to Banco Internacional de Sao Tome e Principe. IFC opened new offices in the Central African Republic and Ethiopia.


IFC announced in May that it is teaming up with other international financial institutions to mobilize at least $15 billion over the next two to three years to lessen the impact of the global financial turmoil on Africa. IFC will contribute at least $1 billion to promote trade, strengthen the capital base of banks and promote microfinance lending, and increase lending for infrastructure projects and other real sectors of the economy experiencing a shortfall in liquidity.


IFC’s strategy in Africa is based on three main components: improving the investment climate, enhancing support to small and medium enterprises, and developing new projects to support investments. IFC is also focusing on building infrastructure, advancing health care, developing agribusiness, reforming the investment climate, and promoting the recovery of countries affected by conflict.


IFC committed investments in the following African countries last year: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome and Principe, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zambia.


About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $15 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.

Notable Transactions in FY09

  • Together with the African Development Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the German development finance institution DEG - Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH, IFC created a new private equity fund that will invest in Africa’s health sector. The fund reached a first closing of $57 million to invest in small- and medium-sized companies, such as health clinics and diagnostic centers, to help low-income Africans gain access to affordable, high-quality health services. It will target total commitments between $100 to $120 million.
  • To strengthen Africa’s banking sector and increase lending to small and medium enterprises that have difficulty accessing credit, IFC provided a financing package of over $200 million to Ecobank Transnational Inc., a pan-African bank with a network of over 500 branches in 27 countries. The financing will support the bank’s expansion, promote lending to micro and smaller, and facilitate trade flows to the region by guaranteeing the underlying trade transactions of Ecobank subsidiaries in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo.
  • IFC provided a $30 million guarantee facility to Stanbic Bank Ghana to help it increase financing to companies that purchase cocoa from small farmers in Ghana. The transaction illustrates how IFC's agribusiness program in Africa is reaching small farmers through local financial intermediaries.
  • IFC invested in Sao Tome and Principe for the first time by providing a trade finance line of $1 million to Banco Internacional de Sao Tome e Principe. The bank utilized $0.68 million of the line last fiscal year.
  • IFC invested in the development of an offshore oil and gas project that will help diversify Ghana’s economy, meet domestic power demand, and generate revenue to support the country’s economic growth and development. IFC will provide a loan of $100 million to Kosmos Energy, one of the key partners developing Ghana’s Jubilee field, located in deep water some 60 kilometers off the coast of Ghana. IFC’s loan is part of a $750 million debt package for U.S.-based Kosmos that IFC helped mobilize, primarily from commercial banks. IFC also signed a $115 million loan agreement with British Tullow Oil, another key Jubilee partner, bringing IFC’s support for the project to $215 million. Kosmos and Tullow are independent oil and gas exploration and production companies.