Maseru, Lesotho, July 13, 2010 —
IFC Vice President for Business Advisory Services, Rachel Kyte, said today
that IFC is committed to supporting private sector development in Lesotho
by backing the country’s efforts to create a better investment climate
and increase opportunities and access to finance for smaller businesses.
IFC is a member of the World Bank Group.
During a two-day visit to Lesotho, Kyte met with senior government officials,
including Minister of Finance, Timothy T. Thahane, and Minister of Health,
Dr. Mphu Ramatlapeng. She also met with private sector clients and donors
to find ways to strengthen IFC’s partnership with Lesotho’s private sector.
“IFC will support Lesotho’s commitment to introduce reforms to improve
the business environment and attract private sector investments” Kyte
said. “IFC will have the largest development impact in Lesotho by working
with our World Bank colleagues and focusing on small and medium enterprise
IFC’s strategy in Lesotho focuses on proactively developing the small
and medium enterprise (SME) sector, and exploring ways to strengthen the
country’s reform agenda.
IFC is supporting the growth of SMEs in Lesotho by providing access to
capacity building tools such as Business Edge and SME Toolkit. IFC is also
actively seeking opportunities to finance microfinance institutions and
facilitate increased bank lending to SMEs in the country through a combination
of risk sharing facilities and advisory services.
IFC is looking to partner with Lesotho’s Ministry of Finance and the World
Bank on investment climate initiatives to support the country’s reform
agenda, and also supports new investment projects and public-private partnerships
that promote growth in key economic sectors, including microfinance and
financial services, manufacturing and health.
IFC facilitated a public-private partnership to build a 425-bed National
Referral Hospital in Maseru to replace the country’s aging main public
hospital. The new hospital is scheduled to open in 2011.
This $100 million privatization project, operated by the Netcare-led consortium
Tsepong, is a landmark agreement that includes complete health care delivery,
an annual fixed service payment to the consortium and comprehensive performance
monitoring. The project benefits from broad participation of Lesotho doctors,
local service providers and investors, and will also support training and
job creation for the local population.
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 capital for private enterprise, and providing advisory and risk
mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments
totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing
countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.