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IFC and Japan Train African Banks to Strengthen Trade Finance

Kampala, Uganda, May 29, 2009 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, with support of the Japanese government, has organized trade finance training for banks in Africa to help them better assist local entrepreneurs and small businesses amid turmoil in global financial markets.  
The five-day seminar, held in Kampala on May 25 through 29, promoted tools for managing risks associated with trade finance products and services. It also facilitated agreements between local banks that focus on international trade.
“We are pleased to support the African banking sector in cooperation with IFC Global Trade Finance Program and delighted that this training is helping local banks enhance trade between Uganda and other countries including Japan, especially during this difficult economic period,” said Toshinori Doi, Director at Japan’s Ministry of Finance.
Georgina Baker, IFC Director for Financial Markets, said, “Our mandate as part the IFC Global Trade Finance Program is to upgrade the trade finance operational skills of local banks, especially in Africa. This advisory services program will enable us to have a greater development impact in the region.”
The Japanese government has been active in supporting continued trade flows during the global financial crisis. In February 2009, Japan launched a $1.5 billion trade finance initiative in close cooperation with IFC to help importers and exporters in developing countries. Japan has also contributed $1 million to help IFC provide the trade finance training held in Uganda and other African countries, including Kenya.
Launched in 2005, the IFC Global Trade Finance Program supports trade with emerging markets worldwide. It aims to increase developing countries’ share of global trade and promote South-South flows of goods and services. Globally, the program has provided more than $4.3 billion worth of guarantees to 152 issuing banks in 70 countries, where more than 74 percent are issued for small and medium enterprises. It has also delivered more than 50 trade finance training courses reaching 1,171 bankers from more than 50 countries worldwide.
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 .