Lome, Togo, December 18, 2008—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is seeking to extend its support of Togo’s
private sector, particularly in the country’s financial, infrastructure
and manufacturing sectors, where developmental impact can be greatest,
IFC Vice President Thierry Tanoh said during his first visit to the country
in this capacity.
Tanoh, accompanied by IFC’s new Director
for West and Central Africa, Yolande Duhem, met with businesspeople and
key government officials, including President of Togo, Faure Gnassingbe
Eyadema, and Prime Minister Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo.
“The private sector will play an increasingly
important role in creating jobs and reducing poverty in Togo," Tanoh
said. "IFC will work with the government of Togo to help create a
business environment more suitable for private sector investment to help
build a vibrant and inclusive economy."
Tanoh and members of Togo’s government
and private sector discussed ways in which IFC could support the implementation
of reforms identified by the IFC-World Bank Investment Climate Assessment
for Togo to build a business environment more attractive to private sector
Togo ranked 163 out of 181 countries
in the IFC-World Bank Doing Business 2009 report, which lists countries
based on the ease of doing business. They also discussed potential partnerships
with local banks to increase their lending to small and medium enterprises.
Since it began working in Togo, IFC
has mobilized about $20 million in investments in the country. IFC’s portfolio
in Togo includes a $1.9 million investment in Transam, a soap manufacturing
company and a $5 million trade finance line to Ecobank Togo. IFC has also
committed $100 million to Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, which is
headquartered in Togo, to help its subsidiaries throughout Africa increase
lending to crucial economic sectors such as agribusiness, health, education,
Togo was the third stop on Tanoh’s
four country visit, which has already taken him to Niger and Mali. Tanoh
will continue on to his native Cote d’Ivoire to discuss how IFC advisory
services and investments can have the greatest developmental impact on
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.