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IFC Committed to Growth and Development in Togo through Support for Private Business


In Lome:
Sylvie Nenonene, World Bank
Telephone:  +228 223 3300
Email: snenonene@worldbank.org

In Johannesburg:
Kimberlee A. Brown, IFC
Telephone: +27 11 731 3175
Email: kbrown@ifc.org


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 investment.

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, and infrastructure.

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 that economy.

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.