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IFC Makes First Loan to Chinese Company in Africa for Sustainable Development

Washington, D.C., April 23, 2010 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has signed its first direct investment with a Chinese company operating in Sub-Saharan Africa to support the continent’s sustainable development. The loan is part of the World Bank Group’s initiative to encourage China-Africa cooperation by backing Chinese companies’ investments in Africa.
IFC’s $10 million loan will help finance a 20-story office and retail building complex in the central business district of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The project will help address the short supply of quality commercial property in the capital and provide increased access to high quality business infrastructure critical for economic growth. IFC is working to mobilize additional financing from East African development financial institutions for the project.
The project is a partnership between Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation, a nongovernmental organization honoring the legacy of Tanzania’s first president, Julius K. Nyerere, which owns the land and will occupy some of the offices, and China’s CRJE Estate Ltd., a fully owned subsidiary of China Railway Jianchang Engineering Company Ltd.
“IFC has been tremendously helpful in supporting the environmental, social, health, and safety design of our project,” said Shi Yuan, Managing Director of CRJE. “In addition, IFC is providing long-term financing structured to meet the commercial prospects of the building complex.”
China’s economic development and its substantial investments on the African continent make it an important partner in the fight against poverty. IFC's strong track record in Africa makes its partnerships with Chinese enterprises an opportunity to support the region’s economic development while helping to adopt international environmental and social standards among Chinese companies.
“Supporting Chinese enterprises for development and cooperation with Africa is one of IFC’s strategic priorities," said Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO. ”This investment will contribute to Tanzania's competitiveness as a regional center, and we believe it will be the first of many transactions bringing sustainable Chinese investment to Africa.”
IFC’s investments in projects executed by companies from developing countries in Africa have increased significantly in recent years, rising from $0.44 million in 2003 to $439 million in fiscal year 2008. Such investments encourage smoother capital flows and high standards that are critical for Africa's economic development.
In the Tanzania project, the IFC team helped make the design energy and water efficient, and ensured the project treated its water discharge since Dar es Salaam lacks a sewage treatment system. Due to IFC’s involvement, the project will meet international environmental and social standards in areas such as life, fire, and safety practices.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing capital for private enterprise, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit .