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
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.