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The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has approved loans totaling US$3.5 million equivalent for agribusiness projects in CÙte d'Ivoire, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe, and a new hotel in Uganda. Three of the approved loans will be made by IFC's Africa Enterprise Fund (AEF), which finances smaller projects with costs between US$250,000 and US$5 million. IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral source of financing for private sector projects in developing countries.
AEF TO FINANCE AGRIBUSINESS IN COTE D'IVOIRE
AEF will provide a loan of FF 2 million (US$357,000 equivalent) to help finance the US$4.4 million investment program of Multi-Produits, an Ivorian company specializing in agricultural production, food processing, and the distribution of food products and household goods. Multi-Produits, which is owned by an Ivorian businessman, is seeking to increase production and processing capacity by building a rice mill. Multi-Produits' investment program is expected to generate 135 permanent jobs in the company itself, as well as thousands of jobs for local farmers engaged in paddy-rice growing and cattle breeding, in a region suffering from severe unemployment.
AEF TO MAKE LOAN TO AGRO-PROCESSING COMPANY IN NIGERIA
AEF will make a loan of US$200,000 to Farbest Industries Limited, a Nigerian cassava grower that is building a plant to produce 3,210 tons per year of industrial starch from cassava supplied from its own farm. The cost of the new plant, which is designed to comply with the World Bank's environmental guidelines, is estimated at $1.5 million. Nigeria is currently forced to import industrial cassava starch in large quantities. Farbest will sell its production primarily to the domestic food-processing, pharmaceutical, textile, chemical, and packaging industries.
AEF TO FINANCE NEW HOTEL IN UGANDA
An AEF loan of US$510,000 will help finance the development of an apartment hotel, Skyblue Apart-Hotel, in Kampala, Uganda, to serve expatriate and business visitors. The new hotel, which is being constructed at an estimated cost of US$1.1 million equivalent, will help alleviate the shortage of reasonably priced hotel accommodations in Uganda's capital. The sponsor is a Ugandan businessman.
IFC TO HELP FINANCE EXPANSION OF AGRIBUSINESS COMPANY IN ZIMBABWE
IFC has approved a loan of US$2.4 million to help finance the expansion program of Interfresh (Private) Limited, Zimbabwe's largest commercial packer and wholesaler of fruits and vegetables. Interfresh, which sells its products in the domestic market as well as in markets in Europe and southern Africa, is constructing a new, larger facility for processing, packing, and storing fresh fruits and vegetables. The expansion program, whose costs are estimated at US$4.8 million, is expected to result in a 20 percent increase in the company's total sales. Exports are expected to increase fivefold
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