The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) said it has committed $3.6 billion in new long-term financing and support for projects in sub-Saharan Africa in fiscal year 2015.18 Sep 2015
Financing from the IFC represented an increase of $600 million from the previous year, with $1.1bn of the overall commitments allocated for an expansion of infrastructure for energy generation, transport and utilities, the IFC said.
The IFC’s director for Eastern and Southern Africa Oumar Seydi said: “IFC’s expanding investments in Africa in 2015 are a reflection of the investment opportunities and our ability to target key sectors critical for African development. IFC supports projects that help nurture entrepreneurs and small businesses and reach projects in sub-Saharan Africa’s critical sectors, including infrastructure and agribusiness.”
According to the IFC, “four new public-private partnership mandates were signed, which will help improve healthcare in Mozambique and boost power generation in Ghana, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo”. The IFC said it also provided “wide-ranging advice to governments and private investors in projects across 30 countries”.
Mining, infrastructure and smaller businesses in sub-Saharan Africa’s “fragile and conflict-affected situations” were among sectors allocated a combined $246 million, the IFC said. “That included more than $80m in new investment commitments to companies and financial institutions in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, as part of a $450m three-year target to step up new investments that respond to Ebola and support economic recovery in countries worst-affected by the epidemic.”
The IFC said it invested $1.2bn in the region’s financial sector, “including capital mobilised from partners” in Africa. “IFC’s investments in banks and financial institutions helped provide loans to entrepreneurs. Meanwhile, IFC provided more than $500m to encourage key industries, including agribusiness and healthcare.”
‘Development data’ released by the IFC for the 2015 calendar year to date showed that the IFC’s work “generated power for 14 million people, connected 2.7 million new users to phone services, reached over one million farmers, delivered healthcare to one million patients, and provided loans to two million entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa”.
The IFC told the Africa Investor CEO Infrastructure Developers’ Summit in South Africa this year that high quality infrastructure project development “holds the potential to unlock billions in new private investment” in Africa. “Private investors are more willing than ever to fund strong projects on the continent under the right conditions,” the IFC said.
Africa’s growth is projected to accelerate to 5-6% in 2015, levels which “have not been seen since the global economic crisis of 2009”, according to the Africa Economic Outlook 2014 (317-page/7.12 MB PDF).
The report, compiled by the African Development Bank Group, the Development Centre of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the UN Development Programme, said foreign investment in the continent, direct and portfolio, has “fully recovered” from the effects of the global economic crisis of 2009. External financial flows and tax revenues continue to be an “important contributor” to Africa’s development, the report said. Foreign direct investment and portfolio investment “could soon constitute Africa’s main source of financial flows if the current pace of growth is sustained”.
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