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IFC New Directorship Highlights Increased Commitment to Kenya, Wider Region


In Johannesburg:
Houtan Bassiri
Phone:  +27 11 731 3179
Email:
hbassiri@ifc.org


Nairobi, September 24, 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has appointed a new director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Jean Philippe Prosper, based in Nairobi, Kenya. The appointment highlights IFC’s commitment to increasing its investments and advisory services to have a larger impact on supporting the private sector and promoting economic development in the region.

Prosper previously worked as IFC Senior Manager covering East Africa. His new role is part of IFC’s strategy to get closer to clients by bringing more resources to Africa and creating two subregional hubs. IFC also has a new Director for West and Central Africa, based in Dakar, Senegal.

“IFC’s choice of Kenya for the directorship covering Eastern and Southern Africa highlights our commitment to the region and to further increasing our activities to better serve clients,” Prosper said. “IFC’s goal is to create opportunities for private businesses and entrepreneurs and have a greater impact on improving the lives of Africans.”

IFC has been rapidly increasing its activities in Eastern and Southern Africa over the last several years. In East Africa, IFC invested $303.3 million in the fiscal year through June 2008, compared with $284.4 a year earlier and just $20 million four years ago. In Southern Africa, IFC invested $313.8 million, compared with $243.08 million a year earlier.

Advisory services are also central part of our strategy. In East Africa, programs such as the SECO-IFC Leasing Program in Tanzania, the IFC Rwanda Leasing Program, and the IFC Rwanda Entrepreneurship Development Program involve partnerships with institutions to promote leasing and strengthen entrepreneurship. The Kenya Private School Program is financing and advising private educational institutions in the country. In Southern Africa, IFC works with companies such as Lonmin in South Africa and Mozal in Mozambique to address issues such as the challenges that HIV/AIDS presents for businesses and increasing economic benefits for local communities.

IFC’s strategy in Eastern and Southern Africa focuses on expanding engagement with the private sector, especially in financial markets, tourism, agribusiness, mining, and infrastructure. Our activities include direct investments, advisory services, and programs such as the Small and Medium Enterprise Solutions Centers in Kenya and Madagascar, which provide an integrated package of financing and advisory services to smaller businesses.

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 www.ifc.org.

In Nairobi:
Tell-Em Public Relations
Norman Mudibo
Phone: + 254 (20) 374 6508
Email: nmudibo@mcl-saatchi.co.ke