IFC Hits Record Investment, Advisory Volume to Promote Development in Sub-Saharan Africa Investment commitments reach $5.3 billion, with projects targeting infrastructure, entrepreneurs, farmers and the health sector
WASHINGTON, September 3, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today released details of its regional activities in Sub-Saharan Africa showing strong development impact through record volumes of investment and advisory services. For the year ending in June 2013, IFC committed a record $5.3 billion to new investments and carried out advisory services projects worth $65 million in Sub-Saharan Africa. IFC supported infrastructure, health, agribusiness and a range of activities in conflict affected states and helped Africa’s entrepreneurs gain access to finance.
IFC invested $3.5 billion from its own account, and mobilized $1.8 billion from other investors. In FY13, IFC’s supported projects that provided loans for 54,000 small and medium businesses, encouraged 13.7 million microfinance clients; and improved health and education for 360,000 people.
IFC’s investments in wind power and other renewable energy reduced 667,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
IFC Advisory Services spending reached $65 million with projects were active in 42 countries. IFC managed 126 projects, valued at $217 million over the life of those projects. Advisory services projects improved access to lighting and education services for 1.6 million people; generated 27,000 jobs; trained entrepreneurs and connected farmers to global markets.
Three public-private partnership mandates were successfully closed, helping deliver health services to 360,000 people in Lesotho and Nigeria and power to 75,000 in Liberia.
IFC and the World Bank’s Investment Climate Advisory Services worked with governments in Sub-Saharan Africa to implement over 50 reforms that benefitted the private sector in 17 different countries. In Uganda, for example, licensing reforms led to private sector cost savings of $15.5 million. The 2013 Doing Business report found that of the 50 economies globally making the most improvement in business regulation for domestic firms since 2005, one-third were in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Oumar Seydi, IFC Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, said, “IFC’s steadily increasing investments and advisory services demonstrates our commitment to private sector development in Sub-Saharan Africa. IFC’s $5.3 billion in new investment and $65 million in advisory services projects have contributed to Africa’s economic growth by supporting entrepreneurs and farmers, improving infrastructure and basic services, and catalyzing business in countries recovering from conflict.”
Yolande Duhem, IFC Director for West and Central Africa, said, “By focusing on developing Africa’s private sector in key areas such as power generation, transport or agribusiness, we are playing an active role in stimulating sustainable economic growth and job creation in the region. We also believe in boosting regional markets in Africa and many of our investments aim to allow companies to grow beyond national boundaries.”
IFC’s agribusiness investments in Sub-Saharan Africa reached $600 million in the 2013 fiscal year. By investing in companies such as the Kenya Tea Development Agency and the Export Trading Group, IFC created economic opportunity for 263,000 farmers in sub Saharan Africa.
IFC funding for infrastructure and natural resources projects in Africa reached $1.7 billion. IFC’s Infraventures division joined hands with private sector partners to develop wind power projects in Tanzania and Kenya. In West Africa, IFC invested aviation companies and mobilized funding for the Lomé port to expand the transportation network and improve trade infrastructure in the region.
Assisting in fragile and conflict situations is a strategic priority for IFC in Africa, and during the most recent fiscal year IFC provided support in nearly all African economies emerging from conflict. IFC’s Conflict Affected States in Africa Program, in particular, provided advisory support and funding to eight countries (Burundi, the Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and South Sudan). IFC’s programs in these countries helped strengthen the private sector foundation, and create opportunities and jobs. CASA recently received approval to expand to all 19 fragile and conflict affected states in Sub-Saharan Africa and will focus the first phase of the expansion on Mali, Somalia, and Zimbabwe.
Through innovative use of treasury operations, IFC expanded its capability to develop domestic capital markets and serve clients with local currency financing. In FY13, IFC provided more than $350 million in local currency loans to countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. IFC pioneered a Nigerian naira bond, raising $75 million in local currency for private sector investments.
IFC is working with authorities in a number of countries including Ghana, Nigeria and Zambia on programs that will enable IFC to regularly issue local currency bonds.
IFC’s focus on encouraging investments between emerging markets was strengthened this year through new investments of nearly $400 million in so-called South-South investments. This included African cross-border investments, such Mali-based Azalai Hotels Group’s new hotel project in Cote d’Ivoire. In Nigeria, IFC financing supported major investments by two Indonesian companies: Indorama’s investment in Eleme Fertilizer and Wings Group’s Nigerian operations.
International Finance Corporation (IFC) – The World Bank