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IFC Invests in Advans Ghana to Support Smaller Businesses in Ghana: []Loan is IFC’s First Local Currency Funding in Ghana[]

Accra, Ghana, September 20, 2010 - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced it will invest in Advans Ghana Savings and Loans Limited to help the microfinance institution expand lending to thousands of micro, small and medium sized enterprises in the country, supporting broad economic growth. The cedi loan is IFC’s first in local currency to a microfinance institution in Ghana.
IFC’s five-year loan of 1.58 million Ghanaian cedis (equivalent to $1.1 million) will help Advans Ghana expand its activities, initially in Accra, and later to other urban areas of Ghana, where the majority of the working population is employed by small and medium-sized businesses.
Tanguy Gravot, CEO of Advans Ghana, said, “Microfinance institutions play a key role in helping improve the financial infrastructure in developing countries. Advans’ partnership with IFC helps us on our growth and product diversification strategy, supporting not only micro enterprises but also small and medium companies.”
Mary-Jean Moyo, IFC’s Country Manager in Ghana, said, “IFC’s investment in Advans Ghana is part of our global strategy to support micro, small and medium enterprises through microfinance institutions. Well managed, commercially run microfinance institutions like Advans Ghana are vital for creating a sound microfinance sector in Ghana, boosting lending to entrepreneurs and helping to improve people’s lives.”
Over the next three years, Advans Ghana is expected to create roughly 200 jobs and to serve at least 40,000 microfinance clients, half of which are expected to be women-run businesses.
By providing long-term cedi financing, IFC will help Ghanaian companies avoid foreign exchange risks, protecting themselves against currency fluctuations. Small and medium-sized businesses will also benefit from an expanded range of services offered by Advans and many will be able to join the formal sector. The cedi loan was structured using the swap market, and will support the development of the long-term Ghanaian cedi swap markets.
IFC’s microfinance strategy for Africa aims to increase access to finance in the poorest areas through commercially viable microfinance institutions. With this strategy, IFC plans to help establish three or four such institutions annually over the next five years, stimulating the local economy, creating jobs and reducing poverty.  
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives—by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and provide essential services, mobilizing capital from others, and delivering advisory and risk-management services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit .