Nairobi, Kenya, November 29, 2012
-- IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is increasing its support for African countries recovering from conflict, providing advisory services and seeking partners for investments to help these countries build strong private sectors and achieve lasting stability and growth.
As part of this effort, IFC, in partnership with the World Bank and This is Africa, a Financial Times Publication, this week hosted a conference in Nairobi that gathered high-ranking Africa government officials, and members of the private sector and civil society groups to discuss ways to increase investment in Africa’s post conflict countries.
The ‘Business after Conflict’ conference sought to dispel myths about the perceptions of doing business in post-conflict countries, while addressing some of the very real and serious problems these countries face in building their private sectors and creating jobs.
Nena Stoiljkovic, IFC Vice President for Advisory Services, said, “Many of Africa’s post-conflict countries are open for business and are good investment opportunities. In addition to investing in these countries, IFC is providing advisory services to help them improve their investment climates and spur small business growth.”
Ministers and other government representatives from South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, and Cote d’Ivoire discussed the ways their countries are reforming their investment climates to create the right conditions for growth. Other topics explored during the conference were security-related business issues, risk perception and financing, and supply chain governance.
IFC is active in many of the 18 countries in Sub Saharan Africa the World Bank describes as ‘fragile or conflict affected’. IFC’s Conflict Affected States in Africa Initiative is providing support in Burundi, the Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and South Sudan. CASA is supported by Ireland, the Netherlands, and Norway.
CASA recently helped Liberia establish a commercial code and court that are making it easier for businesses to do business in the country. IFC and CASA have also helped Burundi enact investment climate reforms that propelled the country into the top 10 list of global reformers, according to the World Bank Group’s 2013 Doing Business Report.
IFC is also actively investing in Africa’s post-conflict countries. In 2011, IFC invested $1 million in Advans Cote d’Ivoire. With IFC’s support, Advans expects its microfinance portfolio to reach $35 million by the end of 2017 and to disburse 100,000 loans by this time. In 2012, IFC made its first investment in South Sudan. The $5 million loan agreement with UAP Properties Ltd. will help the company build a 12-story structure that will provide much-needed office and retail space in the country.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit