Posted by: APO | 13 May 2008

IFC Sees New Opportunities in South Africa’s Infrastructure

IFC Sees New Opportunities in South Africa’s Infrastructure

Johannesburg, May 13, 2008—Rachel Kyte, Vice President of Business Advisory Services at IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today called for more private investment in South Africa’s infrastructure sector. She said that IFC is ready to engage with other stakeholders to find solutions to the country’s power shortage and increase private investment in health, education, and other social infrastructure.

 

“IFC seeks to expand its advisory services to governments and increase investments in the region’s infrastructure,” said Kyte, “We can add value by lending our expertise to governments in structuring private sector participation in infrastructure projects, and by helping private companies improve their energy efficiency.”

 

Kyte was in South Africa on her first visit to the region in her new capacity as Vice President, to review IFC projects and engage stakeholders on ways to improve the climate for private sector investment. She visited Lonmin Plc, one of South Africa’s leading platinum miners.

 

IFC has invested $150 million to support Lonmin’s expansion and $6 million more toward a joint initiative to increase supply opportunities for small and medium enterprises and in community development activities surrounding the company’s mining area.

 

“IFC has a significant presence in South Africa, through investments in Lonmin and other projects. We want to do more with partners to develop sustainable projects that empower local communities and serve previously underserved markets such as small and medium enterprises,” said Kyte.

 

Kyte drew attention to the business value that companies can create through greater attention to environmental and social issues. She is a leader within IFC in demonstrating how high standards are good for business and help develop markets. She emphasized that companies can manage risk better and find new business opportunities related to sustainability by adopting good environmental and social practices.

 

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.

 

In FY07, IFC committed $1.4 billion to 52 projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Of this, $172 million went to infrastructure projects. IFC has been active in infrastructure since the 1990s and has arranged private infrastructure

transactions worth nearly $4.8 billion in more than 46 developing

countries. IFC has also carried out numerous advisory mandates to help African governments develop airports, power plants, railways, and other infrastructure. Major ongoing infrastructure initiatives in Africa by IFC include IFC Infraventures, a $100 million fund, through which IFC will provide early stage risk capital, feasibility studies, and advisory services on financial modeling and project structuring.


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