Dakar, February 9, 2009—IFC, a
member of the World Bank Group, today announced that it will provide advisory
services to Ecobank Group subsidiaries in Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Niger,
Nigeria, and Senegal to help them provide products and services that better
meet the needs of small and medium enterprises and businesses operated
The agreement is the latest in a series between IFC and Ecobank, which
have enjoyed a longstanding relationship in facilitating commerce and economic
development across Africa. In August 2008, IFC signed an agreement to guarantee
the underlying trade transactions of Ecobank Senegal, covering payment
risk and helping increase Senegal’s global trade volumes.
“Working with IFC will greatly increase our capacity to facilitate trade
between Senegal and other countries and will allow us to support small
and medium enterprises, and in particular women entrepreneurs,” said Ehouman
Kassi, Managing Director of Ecobank Senegal.
The two institutions are also working together to enhance regional trade
and increase financing for critical sectors of Africa’s economy, including
agribusiness, health, education, and infrastructure.
“Building a strong financial sector with partners like Ecobank that can
support Africa’s development is an important part of IFC’s effort to
help alleviate poverty,” said IFC Executive Vice President and CEO Lars
Thunell. “Working with Ecobank’s extensive network will enable IFC to
have a stronger impact on promoting trade and supporting smaller businesses
in West Africa.”
Thunell was in Senegal to convene a meeting of IFC’s global management
team and inaugurate IFC’s Dakar office as its new hub for West and Central
Africa. The meeting reflects IFC’s commitment to doing more in Africa
and a global strategy to get closer to clients by bringing more staff and
resources to different parts of the world.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth
in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing
private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing
advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC's
vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and
improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized
an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance
for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory
services in 97 countries. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.