Conakry, Guinea, 17 July, 2019
—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a $25 million loan to one of Guinea's leading flour producers - Société Nouvelle de Commerce. The financing is part of IFC’s broader efforts to drive economic growth and create jobs in the West African country.
Société Nouvelle de Commerce, also known as SONOCO, will use the loan towards building a half dozen grain silos in Conakry, Guinea’s capital, while ramping up its production of wheat flour and bouillon/stock cubes. The project is designed to spur the development of food processing in Guinea, helping diversify the country’s economy away from the dominant mining sector.
"This investment from IFC is an important step in realizing the potential of Guinea’s food processing sector. Sonoco will provide affordable, high-quality food products to Guineans, while creating new job opportunities for them," said Aboul Karim Diallo, Deputy General Manager of SONOCO.
Guinea's economy grew at average of 6.1 percent annually from 2010 to 2017. But almost all that expansion was concentrated in the mining sector and, with a per capita GDP of $827, the country remains one of the poorest in the world.
"A diversified economy is essential for growth in the Sahel region. IFC’s investment will help Guinea’s food processing sector become more competitive, and will create new opportunities, not only for SONOCO’s direct employees, but also, for the small businesses, suppliers and distributors who work with the company.”
Along with the financing package, IFC will advise SONOCO, a family-run business, on how to enhance its corporate governance. The institution will also help provide financial literacy training to the employees of the small bakeries that buy SONOCO flour.
The project is part of a larger effort by IFC to fight poverty and create livelihoods in Guinea. IFC has invested over $300 million in the country’s mining, tourism, agriculture and power sectors. IFC advisory services are also supporting the Guinean government’s efforts to improve the business environment in the country.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit