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IFC pumps $4b into sub-Saharan Africa’s economy in 2012 fiscal year

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The International Finance Corporation (IFC)  a member of the World Bank Group recorded $4 billion as investments it made in sub-Saharan Africa during the 2012 fiscal year, it announced August 28, 2012.

The amount from both IFC’s advisory services projects and investments supported infrastructure, health, education, and agribusiness projects in the region, and strengthened smaller businesses and Africa’s capital markets.

In a press release, the IFC said it’s investment clients benefitted from $1.2 billion mobilized from other investors, and are expected to generate power for 1.54 million new customers, support 23,000 farmers, improve health services for 50,000 patients, and reach 10,000 students.

The Corporation’s Advisory Services also helped create 25,500 jobs and worked with partner financial institutions to provide more than $1 billion in loans to African entrepreneurs in the 2011 calendar year.

The Advisory Services were active in 35 countries, with 123 projects, valued at $204 million, it stated. “Projects spanned a range of activities, such as increasing finance for farmers and entrepreneurs, improving health and education services, finding renewable energy solutions, building public private partnerships in infrastructure and supporting investment climate reforms. Public and private development partners provided $57.8 million in additional funding to support these programs,” the release said.

According to Yolande Duhem, the IFC Director for West and Central Africa, despite a weak global economy, sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing strong economic growth and the IFC is “proud to contribute to that growth”.

“We have increased our support for Africa’s entrepreneurs and large companies, and helped governments improve the business environment. Our investments and advisory work have improved infrastructure and boosted financing to small enterprises. IFC remains positive on Africa’s future,” Duhem said.

Commenting, the Corporation’s East and Southern Africa head, Jean Philippe Prosper, said the IFC strives to promote open and competitive markets in Africa, as reflected in the development impact and highest-ever investment figures.

“IFC’s financial and advisory projects support businesses in Africa, create jobs, and deliver essential services to the underserved,” Prosper said.

The IFC said its strategic focus in sub-Saharan Africa remains on supporting key sectors, including agriculture, infrastructure, manufacturing, health and education, and on expanding access to finance through partner financial institutions.

By Ekow Quandzie

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