IFC urged to engage in Ghana’s domestic bond market

Jean Philippe Prosper - IFC Vice President
Jean Philippe Prosper – IFC Vice President

Vice President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur on Monday said the International Finance Corporation (IFC) should increase its portfolio (investment) financing to Ghana and extend assistance to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMES).

He also requested the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, to engage in the domestic bond market so that Government development becomes broad-based.

Bond market is the environment in which the issuance and trading of debt securities occurs.  The bond market primarily includes government-issued securities and corporate debt securities, and facilitates the transfer of capital from savers to the issuers or organizations requiring capital for government projects, business expansions and ongoing operations.

The primary goal of the bond market is to provide a mechanism for long term financing of public and private expenditure.

The call comes in the wake of recent appeals by the Vice President for investors and financing organisations to take active part in the financing of public projects rather than seeing themselves as aid givers; and also partner government in empowering the private sector in the pursuance of public private partnership in the nation’s development drive.

Vice President Amissah-Arhur made the call when Mr Jean Phillipe Prosper, Vice President  of Sub Sahara Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean of the International Finance Corporation, led a delegation to pay a courtesy call on him at the Flagstaff House, in Accra.

Mr Prosper, a Haitian, took the position last February and was making his debut visit to Ghana after his appointment.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur said the IFC had been in partnership with Ghana for quite some time now, but its portfolio financing of $1.5 billion needed to go up, adding “we need some fiscal space…. we need to do a lot more for the private sector.

“We need to encourage domestic small medium enterprises,” the Vice President said.

Mr Prosper said IFC’s investment to Africa was about $500 billion, and expressed the bank’s commitment to the development of shipping and ports infrastructure.

The IFC Boss for Sub-Sahara said the organisation was putting up a permanent building in Accra and had about 400 people on the ground, and would continue to offer assistance to domestic financial institutions to develop the capacity of actors in small and medium enterprises.

Source: GNA

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