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IFC, Agricultural Bank of Egypt Partner to Promote Farmers’ Switch to Solar Irrigation Systems

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Cairo, Egypt, November 19, 2020—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Agricultural bank of Egypt (ABE) today announced a partnership to help Egyptian farmers access financing to purchase solar irrigation systems, reducing their reliance on diesel-powered generators and boosting their productivity.

Through the partnership, IFC will help ABE build capacity and design new financial products to enable Egyptian farmers—most of whom lack direct access to grid electricity—to purchase and install solar irrigation pumps. Using solar power for water pumping could potentially save farmers an estimated 14 billion Egyptian pounds ($875 million) annually in diesel fuel costs, helping reduce greenhouse gas.

ABE serves 4 million farmers in Egypt and is one of the country's largest banks.

Sami Abdel Sadek, Deputy Chairman of the Agricultural Bank of Egypt, said, "Expanding the use of solar energy technology among farmers is part of our strategy to support agricultural and rural development in Egypt. It will also contribute to the country's 2030 strategy to encourage agricultural investments and rationalize the use of resources, including energy, in the sector."

Walid Labadi, IFC Country Manager for Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, said, "Our partnership with ABE will help provide clean energy to farmers at an affordable cost, while helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Supporting the development of renewable energy and expanding access to finance are priorities for IFC in Egypt."

The partnership is part of IFC's broader advisory work to strengthen Egypt's clean technology sector and support entrepreneurship in the country.

Under the Cleantech Entrepreneurship and Market Development Project, IFC is helping select financial institutions build their capacity to offer financing facilities for off-grid photovoltaic (PV) systems in the agribusiness sector. The project is being implemented in partnership with the governments of Denmark, South Korea, and the Netherlands.

About ABE

The Agricultural Bank of Egypt (ABE) was founded in 1931, with the objective of developing Egypt's agricultural sector. In the ensuing years the bank grew rapidly to become the largest financial institution in the Arab world serving the specific interests of the farming community. Today ABE is a full financial and banking institution and its operations are carried out through a network that encompasses an administrative head office in Cairo, and about 1200 district branches and village banks. The bank currently employs approximately 17,000 staff and serves over 3 to 4 million farmers and other rural dwellers. ABE is wholly-owned by the Egyptian government and is answerable to the Central Bank of Egypt.

About IFC

IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2020, we invested $22 billion in private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

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