Press Releases

Sao Tome and Principe Joins IFC as 180th Member Country

In Washington, D.C.
Elizabeth Price

Phone: +1 (202) 458-0387

In Johannesburg
Houtan Bassiri
Phone: +2711 731 3179

Washington, D.C., October 11, 2008—Lars Thunell, Executive Vice President and CEO of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Her Excellency Angela Maria da Graca Viegas Santiago, Minister of Planning and Finance of Sao Tome and Principe, today signed the Articles of Agreement for Sao Tome and Principe to become IFC’s 180th  member country.

“We look forward to being a partner with Sao Tome and Principe to further support private sector growth in Sub-Saharan Africa and create more opportunities for Africans,” Thunell said during the signing ceremony at the 2008 World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings. “I encourage Sao Tome and Principe to draw on IFC’s ability to link small businesses to large investment projects and ensure environmental and social sustainability of projects related to natural resource development in your country.”

Member countries provide IFC’s share capital and collectively determine its policies. IFC’s strategy in Africa is closely aligned with Sao Tome and Principe’s needs: improving the investment climate, supporting for small and medium enterprises, and proactively developing large projects.

Supporting development in Sub-Saharan Africa is one of IFC’s key strategic priorities given the region’s high concentration of low-income countries. IFC made new investments of $1.4 billion in 2008 and expanded its reach into smaller markets in coordination with World Bank Group efforts. IFC made investments in 25 Sub-Saharan African countries in FY08 and delivered advisory services in 36 markets.

IFC will remain committed to helping the private sector grow in Africa, playing a countercyclical role as other investors become more cautious. IFC’s recent appointment of its first Vice President outside Washington in Johannesburg, and of directors in Nairobi and Dakar, demonstrates commitment to put decision-makers close to clients to serve them better and increase development impact.

About IFC
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 $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit