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IFC Appoints Vera Songwe Regional Director for West and Central Africa

Dakar, July 1, 2015 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group has appointed Vera Songwe IFC Regional Director for West and Central Africa, based in Dakar, Senegal. Until June 30, 2015, Ms. Songwe, a Cameroonian national, was the World Bank Country Director for Senegal, Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea Bissau and Mauritania.
IFC offers an array of products and services which enable the corporation to play a catalytic role in drawing the private sector into developing sectors as varied as infrastructure, small and medium enterprises, and agribusiness, which are key for sustainable and inclusive development. In FY14, IFC provided more than $4.6 billion in support to the private sector across sub-Saharan Africa.  
“Over the past few years, I have observed the significant impact of the private sector in advancing the aspirations of many countries,” said Ms. Songwe. “I am honored to have this opportunity to lead IFC’s team in providing the investments and advice that will help to further grow vibrant private enterprise, promote economic development and create jobs in West and Central Africa.”
Ms. Songwe joined the World Bank Group in 1998 as a Young Professional. She worked in the Middle East and North Africa region covering Morocco and Tunisia in the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM) unit. She later joined the East Asia and Pacific region, PREM unit where she played several roles including Regional PRSP Coordinator, and Country Sector Coordinator and Senior Economist for the Philippines. She has also worked Cambodia and on Mongolia as Country Economist managing different World Bank programs and the economic and growth policy dialogue.
Prior to joining the Bank, Ms. Songwe was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Southern California and at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, USA. She has published several articles on governance, fiscal policy, agriculture and commodity price volatility and trade and new financial infrastructure.
Ms. Songwe holds a PhD. in Mathematical Economics from the Center for Operations Research & Econometrics from the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve in Belgium. She holds a BA in Economics and a BA in Political Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Ms. Songwe’s appointment is effective July 1, 2015. She takes over the role of IFC Regional Director from Ms. Saran Kebet-Koulibaly, who joins IFC’s Management Team in Washington D.C. as Vice President for Corporate Sustainability and Risk.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit
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