Lome, August 13, 2009—IFC, a member
of the World Bank Group, today signaled its further commitment to increasing
private sector investment and advisory services in Togo and Côte d’Ivoire
with a visit by regional Vice President Thierry Tanoh and Director for
West and Central Africa Yolande Duhem. In their second trip to these countries
in less than a year, the IFC officials highlighted recent trade finance
transactions and IFC’s growing regional relationship with Lome-based Ecobank.
“Africa’s development needs combined
with its spirit of enterprise reinforce IFC’s strong commitment to the
continent,” said Thierry Tanoh, IFC Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa.
“IFC has expanded its role in Africa during the financial crisis and intends
to continue to do so.”
During the fiscal year that ended in
June 2009, IFC increased its investment in Sub-Saharan Africa to $1.8 billion
reaching 30 countries, up from $1.4 billion in 25 countries the previous
year. IFC Advisory Services in Africa also increased its volume by 35 percent
to $38 million and doubled its work in conflict-affected countries.
For more than 15 years, Ecobank and
IFC have been working together to offer improved services to clients in
West Africa. The relationship is improving access to finance and building
strong financial markets in order to strengthen the private sector on the
“Reaching Africa’s smaller markets
is a high priority for IFC,” said IFC Director for West and Central Africa,
Yolande Duhem. “With partners like Ecobank who share our commitment to
African development, we have been able to finance more businesses in markets
like Togo and Côte d’Ivoire.”
Ecobank booked its first trade transaction
in April 2009 under the IFC trade finance line of $2.1 million for Côte
d’Ivoire. The next month Ecobank marked its first transaction under the
IFC trade finance line for Togo of $5 million.
In 2008, IFC provided a financing package
of up to $213 million to Ecobank, consisting of a $100 million convertible
loan to support the bank’s regional expansion, a $25 million loan and
advisory services to Ecobank Nigeria to promote lending to smaller businesses,
and up to $88 million in guarantees against the underlying trade transactions
of several Ecobank subsidiaries—including those in Benin, Burkina Faso,
Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo. The IFC Advisory
Services component in conjunction with Ecobank is enabling banks to provide
longer term financing and improve profitability to small business and women-led
enterprises in the region.
In addition to meetings with state ministers
and regional businesses leaders, Mr. Tanoh and Ms. Duhem were scheduled
to meet with the President of the West African Development Bank, Abdoulaye
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.