Bissau, Guinea-Bissau April 28, 2015--
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group and the government of Guinea-Bissau
signed a Cooperation Agreement to inaugurate the second Africa Leasing
Facility program to ease access to finance to small businesses in the country.
The signing event marks the official launch of the program in the Republic
of Guinea and seeks to promote and establish a leasing industry that meets
the needs of SMEs and smaller businesses to better equip them to contribute
to the post-conflict reconstruction of the country in a meaningful way.
IFC will provide advisory services to the stakeholders and will help
the government of Guinea-Bissau to reform the legal and regulatory framework
for leasing and to build the capacity of technical partners in order to
achieve effective access to finance for SMEs and smaller businesses.
“We welcome this timely agreement which will help improve access to finance
of SMEs and strengthen the private sector” said The Minister of Economy
and Finance of Guinea-Bissau, Mr. Geraldo Martins who signed the agreement.
Support to SMEs and smaller businesses for the development of the private
sector is a key component of IFC’s commitment to Guinea-Bissau, along
with directly financing projects in sectors that drive growth and public
private partnerships to improve the country’s infrastructure.
“We believe that access to finance will be substantially improved and
will allow SMEs to acquire production equipment and as a result, contribute
to the economic recovery as evidenced in all countries where a leasing
program operates”, added Jérôme Cretegny, IFC Country Manager for Guinea-Bissau.
Leasing is an innovative access to finance mechanism that is tailor-made
for SMEs and smaller businesses in Africa that lack sufficient collateral
or credit history to access conventional financing tools. During its first
phase, the Leasing program was active in 15 countries. ALF II, the second
phase of the program launched in 2013, focuses on 10 Fragile and Conflict-Affected
States, including Guinea Bissau. Since 2013, Africa Leasing Facility II
has benefited from the financial support of SECO, the State Secretariat
for Economic Affairs of Switzerland.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private
enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and
influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives
in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org