Press Releases

IFC's Trade Finance Program Expands Access to Finance in Sub-Saharan Africa

IFC Contacts:
In Washington, D.C.:

Lotte Pang

Phone: +1 202 758 4290


In Johannesburg:        

Houtan Bassiri

Telephone: +27 11 731 3179


Paris, France, April 24, 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced today that MediCapital Bank has joined the IFC Global Trade Finance Program as a confirming bank. As part of the program’s network of participating banks, MediCapital will offer improved access to trade finance for private sector businesses.  MediCapital Bank, a London-based bank, is wholly owned by Morocco’s Banque Marocaine du Commerce Exterieur and focuses on Sub-Saharan Africa.

IFC’s program supports trade with emerging markets worldwide and promotes flows of goods and services between developing countries. IFC provides guarantee coverage of bank risk in emerging markets, allowing recipients to expand their trade finance transactions within an extensive network of countries and banks.  

“We are pleased to be working with IFC and to be a participant in this program, which actively promotes global trade, in particular in Africa and the Middle East,” said Eric Aouani, Chief Executive Officer of MediCapital Bank.  

Georgina Baker, IFC Director, Global Financial Markets, said, “The IFC Global Trade Finance Program will allow MediCapital Bank to extend its reach in Sub-Saharan Africa and will facilitate broader risk coverage for challenging trade transactions.”

In 2007 the IFC Global Trade Finance Program doubled the volume of guarantees it issued and the number of participating banks and countries covered. In March 2008, the program reached a milestone of $2 billion worth of guarantees issued since its launch in September 2005, representing 2,500 individual trades. Today over 200 banks can work with one another to facilitate trade flows between challenging markets. The program continues to benefit entrepreneurs with the least access to finance: 50 percent of the guarantees issued to date have supported trade in the poorest countries. The median size of a guarantee is under $250,000, thus boosting trade between small businesses.

IFC also provides advisory services and training aimed to help banks build capacity and improve their trade finance and trade operations. IFC’s program has reached over 170 banks through training courses in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and Trinidad and Tobago.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC's vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit

About MediCapital Bank

MediCapital Bank is a recently established British bank, authorized by the Financial Services Authority that provides international institutions and investors with access to a wide range of growth opportunities in Africa. It also provides corporate Africa with access to international capital markets and high-quality financial expertise. Primarily it originates private sector deals that are below the threshold of international investment banks and beyond the scope of local banks.  MediCapital Bank is a full-service investment and wholesale bank with an international network in Europe and Africa. As part of Morocco’s leading private sector banking group, Banque Marocaine du Commerce Extérieur, MediCapital Bank provides an on-the-ground network of offices in 15 countries across Africa. BMCE Bank recently strengthened its African footprint by a strategic investment in the Bank of Africa Group, headquartered in Luxembourg, with banking operations in eleven African countries.

For MediCapital Bank:
Victoire de Clermont-Tonnerre
Telephone: + 44 207 429 5568