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IFC PROVIDES US$6 MILLION FINANCING TO CEMENT COMPANY IN TOGO, WEST AFRICA


L. Joseph
Phone: (202) 473-7700    
Fax: (202) 974-4384
E-mail: ljoseph@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C., October 21, 1999 - The International Finance Corporation has signed an agreement to provide financing of US$6 million to West African Cement S.A. (Wacem), a company in Togo, West Africa.
Incorporated in June 1996, Wacem acquired "Les Ciments de l'Afrique de l'Ouest" (Cimao), a clinker company developed by the Governments of Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Togo in the early 1980s with a capacity of 1.2 million tons per annum. IFC's investment will complete rehabilitation of the company's assets and expand its activities.
Wacem is sponsored by Messrs. Manubhai Patel and Prasad Motaparti, entrepreneurs with interests in wood processing and steel products.
IFC's financing consists of a loan of $4.5 million for its own account and equity of $1.5 million.
Mr. Guy Antoine, Director of IFC's Regional Office for West Africa, called the project an example of South-South cooperation. He said it would promote regional economic integration in West Africa and help the region secure clinker and cement at affordable prices.
At full production, Wacem is expected to generate annual foreign exchange revenues of about $33 million and create more than 400 permanent jobs.
Recent tests have indicated that the Wacem plant is in compliance with World Bank guidelines for cement production.
The Government of Togo was represented at the signing ceremony by Mr. Tchamdja Andjo, Minister of Mines, Energy, Post, and Telecommunications and Mr. R. K. Osseyi, Minister of Industries, Commerce, and Development of Free Zones. The ministers expressed their appreciation of the rehabilitation work by the sponsors and the project's positive impact on the development of Togo.
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private sector investment in developing countries, which will reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.