Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo,
April 17, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today affirmed
a commitment to providing more investment and advisory services to support
job creation and private sector growth in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
At the conclusion of a five day visit
to the country, IFC Vice President Thierry Tanoh noted that IFC is rapidly
expanding operations in DRC.
“IFC is working to expand its activities
where they are needed most, particularly in Africa’s poorest countries
and those emerging from conflict,” said Tanoh. “IFC is committed to providing
more investments and advisory services to help ensure that DRC can become
a more hospitable investment destination for those companies willing to
apply best practices and encourage widespread, positive development impact.”
IFC is bringing to bear the full range
of its innovative products and services to support DRC, which is slowly
emerging from a long conflict. IFC’s strategy in DRC involves helping
improve the investment climate; supporting small and medium enterprises;
and investing in key economic sectors such as mining, financial markets,
agribusiness, manufacturing, and infrastructure.
During his trip this week, Tanoh signed
a transaction with Rawbank that will help the bank provide access to finance
for small and medium enterprises. Promoting access to finance for women
is an important part of the partnership. IFC will work with Rawbank to
better understand the needs of women and opportunities in lending to them.
The program will train women entrepreneurs on how to produce the business
plans required by banks and how to better manage their businesses
Tanoh pointed to other areas where IFC
recently has demonstrated its commitment to DRC:
- IFC has had an office and a representative
in Kinshasa since 2007.
- In 2007, IFC invested $75 million in
Zain DRC to support the modernization and development of its mobile network
in the country.
- In 2008, IFC helped establish Advans
Banque Congo, a new microfinance institution that aims to reach entrepreneurs
that have had little access to financial services (IFC equity investment
of $1.1 million).
- As a mineral rich economy, the mining
sector remains fundamental to DRC’s economic progress. Together with the
World Bank Group, IFC is actively working with private companies to develop
the country’s mining potential and ensure that local communities benefit
from the country’s mining activity.
Tanoh’s agenda included meetings with
private sector clients, development partners, and government officials,
including Prime Minister Adolphe Muzito and Finance Minister Athanase Matenda
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 $16.2
billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For
more information, visit www.ifc.org.