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IFC Invests in Banque de l’Habitat du Burkina Faso to Improve Access to Housing Finance

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, March 25, 2011 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed an agreement with Banque de l’Habitat du Burkina Faso to support housing finance, a key sector in the country. IFC will complement its investment with a strong advisory services program to strengthen the bank’s operations, particularly in the areas of risk management and mortgage and property finance, during its critical growth phase.
The signing took place during a three-day trip to Burkina Faso by Thierry Tanoh, IFC Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Western Europe. Tanoh was attending the Second Session of the Presidential Council for Investment. He was accompanied by Yolande Duhem, IFC Director for West and Central Africa, and Mary-Jean Moyo, IFC Country Manager for Burkina Faso.
IFC will invest up to $600,000 in Banque de l’Habitat du Burkina Faso, the first bank in Burkina Faso dedicated to housing, helping strengthen the country’s financial sector while demonstrating the commercial viability of mortgage lending.
 “The partnership between IFC and BHBF will be fruitful for both institutions, as it will expand access to housing for a large majority of Burkinabes,” said Pierre Zerbo, CEO of Banque de l’Habitat du Burkina Faso.
 “This investment reaffirms IFC’s commitment to supporting private sector development in Burkina Faso,” said Tanoh. “The success of this program will require a strong commitment and continued cooperation from all parties in the housing value chain, including BHBF, developers, regulators, and other financial institutions.”
IFC and six partners launched a sector-wide advisory program in September 2009, to help create a viable and sustainable mortgage market in Burkina Faso. IFC is also supporting the government in its commitment to being a leader in investment climate reforms, as reflected by its significant rise in the Doing Business ranking. In 2010, Burkina Faso was recognized as the world’s fourth most consistent reformer over the last five years. For two consecutive years, the country has ranked first among UEMOA and OHADA countries in the ease of doing business.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory 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 .