Press Releases

Mozambique—IFC Helps Mozal Expand Successful SME Linkages Program to Daily Operations

In Washington, DC:
L. Joseph

Phone: +202 473 7700

Fax: +202 974 4384


Washington, D.C., 17, 2003—The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has joined with the Mozal Aluminum Smelter, an IFC investee; the World Bank Enterprise Development Project Technical Assistance Component, and the Mozambican Center for Investment Promotion to create a linkages program, Mozlink. Through targeted training and mentoring, Mozlink will help Mozambican small and medium businesses win and deliver contracts to Mozal’s day-to-day operations. IFC’s African Project Development Facility will manage the program. IFC has also committed $75,000 of the $200,000 project costs through its Capacity Building Facility.

Mozlink is a modified version of the successful linkages program SMEELP (Small and Medium Enterprise Empowerment Program), which linked Mozambican small and medium businesses to the construction  phase of the Mozal II expansion. Mozlink aims to connect 10-15 new small and medium businesses to Mozal operation contracts as well as assist 10-12 existing suppliers. Mozlink will also train firms in tendering and provide business and technical mentoring.  

Mozlink is part of a package of assistance programs targeted to help local small and medium businesses deliver contracts to Mozal and other large businesses in Mozambique. Analysis of the SMEELP program shows that small and medium businesses that win contracts benefit from the training and mentoring inherent in the linkages program, but that they also need access to other business support services and working capital financing products to help them deliver on the contracts. As a result, Mozlink will be supported by
a capacity building program that will train consultants in areas of business services such as quality, safety, and production, and by a program providing technical assistance to help two local institutions offer the working capital financial products that small and medium businesses require.  Both of these programs will be supported by IFC and partner institutions.

According to Harold Rosen, director of IFC’s Small and Medium Enterprise Department, “While SMEELP is an excellent example of an initiative that can be facilitated through linkage programs, our goal is to continue developing and improving programs that encourage sustainable small and medium enterprise development. Mozlink and the accompanying financial and business development support will provide small businesses with the tools that will allow them to work with Mozal for years to come.”

The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives.  IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. Since its founding in 1956 through FY02, IFC has committed more than $34 billion of its own funds and arranged $21 billion in syndications for 2,825 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC's worldwide committed portfolio as of FY02 was $15.1 billion for its own account and $6.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.

IFC's SME Department Linkages Team works closely with the Corporation's clients and partners worldwide to expand their local supply and distribution chains, create more opportunities for smaller businesses, and assist in sustainable community development efforts.