Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, February 17, 2009—
Strengthening the financial sector, helping smaller businesses access finance, improving infrastructure, and investing in key sectors such as agribusiness and tourism are high priorities for IFC as it increases its development impact in Tanzania, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO Lars Thunell told reporters today during his first official visit to the country. IFC is a member of the World Bank Group.
The visit highlighted IFC’s commitment to supporting private sector development in Tanzania with a combination of investments and advisory services. Thunell met with key development partners, donors, and government officials, including President Jakaya Kikwete, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Mustafa Haidi Mkulo, and Minister for Infrastructure Development Dr. Shukuru Kawambwa.
“The private sector is playing an increasingly important role in creating jobs and reducing poverty in Tanzania," Thunell said. "IFC is committed to supporting Tanzania’s businesses so they can grow and help build a vibrant and inclusive economy."
Since Tanzania became a member of IFC in 1962, and as of June 2008, IFC has mobilized over $185 million in investments for the country’s economy and offered a broad range of advisory services to support the private sector. IFC’s strategy in Tanzania focuses on supporting micro, small and medium enterprises through financial intermediaries, developing infrastructure by providing long term finance for large projects, and investing in agribusiness, tourism and other key economic sectors.
IFC’s recent transactions in Tanzania include an approximate $3 million investment in AccessBank Tanzania, a new microfinance institution, and $12 million in loans to Bakhresa Group to support the Tanzania-based agribusiness company expand in Malawi and Mozambique.
Thunell’s visit to Tanzania reflects IFC’s strategy to get closer to clients by bringing more senior dedicated staff and resources to the region and creating two sub-regional hubs for Africa. IFC recently inaugurated Nairobi, Kenya as its hub office for Eastern and Southern Africa. A second hub in Dakar, Senegal, serves West and Central Africa.
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 private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit