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IFC Commits to Doing More in Sierra Leone, Opens New Country Office

Freetown, Sierra Leone, February 12, 2009 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today opened an office in Sierra Leone to expand support for the conflict-affected country’s economic recovery by helping improve the investment climate, strengthen the domestic financial sector, and increase private participation in infrastructure.
The new office, inaugurated by IFC’s Vice President for Business Advisory Services, Rachel Kyte, demonstrates IFC’s commitment to support development in Sierra Leone by providing strategic advice on doing business and by investing in private sector companies in the country. The new office is at 13 Lamina Sankoh Street in the central business district of Freetown.
“IFC is committed to doing more to improve the business climate and to boost investments in Sierra Leone,” Kyte said. “We have now opened an office and are appointing new staff to execute our expanded portfolio in the country. In the face of the current global economic crisis, IFC’s commitment to Africa is stronger than ever. It is critical that emerging economies like Sierra Leone are provided the support needed to grow its private sector and to position itself as a preferred investment destination.”
The opening was attended by several government officials, representatives of the private sector, development partners, and the media. Rachel Kyte is the most senior IFC officer to visit Sierra Leone. During the visit, she will also meet with various officials in the government and the private sector to discuss current and new IFC initiatives.
IFC’s $10 million advisory services program in Sierra Leone is co-funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development. IFC is working at the invitation of the Government of Sierra Leone to advise it on appropriate actions to create a better business and investment climate in the country. The advisory support has resulted in a number of reforms that are beginning to have a notable effect on the cost, procedures and time of doing business.
IFC has also invested $28 million in Sierra Leone’s telecommunications and financial services industries, which are key development sectors for the country. IFC is currently developing working strategies to increase its investment portfolio in manufacturing and services, agribusiness, health, education, infrastructure, and financial markets.
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 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 .