Johannesburg, South Africa, August 19,
2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced today that it
committed $1.8 billion worth of new investments across 30 countries in
Africa in the fiscal year ended June, its largest volume in any single
year since its founding in 1956, as it rapidly increased activities to
alleviate the impact of the global financial crisis on Africa’s poorest
IFC’s investments represented a 32
percent increase over the $1.4 billion in commitments recorded a year earlier.
IFC also delivered $26.1 million worth of advisory services, up from $18.6
million a year ago, as it expanded activities to have more impact in countries
affected by conflict and where the private sector is at the very early
stages of development.
“IFC is increasing its activities where
it is needed the most, building a base for sustainable economic growth
and increasing opportunities for people to improve their lives,” said
Jean Philippe Prosper, IFC Director for Eastern and Southern Africa. “IFC
stepped up financing and advisory services amid the turmoil in global financial
markets to encourage African trade and investment flows and alleviate the
impact of the global economic slowdown on the Africa’s most vulnerable.”
IFC announced in May that it is teamingup
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 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, and opened new offices
in the Central African Republic and Ethiopia.
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.
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
- IFC invested $18 million to help Green
Resources plant 8,000 hectares of new forest in Tanzania, implement international
environmental and social standards, and increase productivity and energy
efficiency. Green Resources will generate carbon credits from its operations,
which it will sell directly to buyers from developed countries.
- 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
- 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,
- 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
- In Uganda, IFC signed its first risk
sharing facility involving small and medium enterprises in the telecommunications
sector. This project enables distributors of Zain products and services
access to medium term financing through Stanbic Bank Uganda. It
is coupled with a capacity building program for Zain dealers to upgrade
their business practices and reduce their risk profile. IFC expects to
see more projects of this nature in other parts of Africa.
- IFC invested in Faulu Kenya to
help the microfinance institution broaden its products and services to
reach more Kenyans, helping build a more inclusive financial sector and
contributing to the development of a vibrant private sector. In May 2009,
Faulu became the first microfinance institution in Kenya to receive a license
from the Central Bank of Kenya to accept deposits. IFC will provide a partial
credit guarantee for 80 percent of a 450 million Kenyan shilling loan from
Standard Chartered Bank to Faulu. IFC will also provide advisory support
to facilitate Faulu’s transformation to a deposit taking institution.
- IFC provided $100 million in financing
as part of a $400 million package to support Standard Bank’s trade-related
lending in Africa. The transaction was part of IFC’s Global Trade Liquidity
Program, which is expected to support up to $50 billion in trade in emerging
markets and have a significant impact in Africa, where supporting
continued access to finance is one of IFC’s priorities.
- IFC provided $7 million to help Dac
Aviation help ensure transport of goods across Africa related to humanitarian
relief. The financing will help Dac purchase new aircraft and improve maintenance
standards for its operations serving aid and relief organizations active
today in Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan.