Senegal: IFC Grows as Private Investment Takes a Leading Role
Building on the rapid growth of its West and Central Africa hub, IFC is increasing its new business in Senegal in important sectors such as agribusiness, financial markets, and infrastructure.
This year, IFC expects to invest as much as $100 million, supporting more than $400 million in private investment in Senegal. Its current country portfolio is approximately $80 million.
In opening remarks at the Fifth Consultative Group on Senegal in Paris on February 24, hosted by Senegal’s President Macky Sall, IFC VP Jean Philippe Prosper applauded the government’s increasing reliance on the private sector as the engine of growth. The change was underscored by including a full day’s discussion of the private sector for the first time at the Consultative Group meetings, which gather public and private partners to finance the government’s investment program
“Senegal is an important and growing market in West Africa,” said Saran Kebet-Koulibaly Director for West and Central Africa, who is based in Dakar. “We want to encourage an even more rapidly improving investment climate by demonstrating the value of private investments through positive impact on people’s lives.”
During the event in Paris, IFC announced a €5 million loan to Societe Industrielle Agro-Alimentaire, a leading beverage company in Senegal. The investment will help SIAGRO grow operations in West Africa.
SIAGRO recently launched the bottling of Minute Maid juices under license from The Coca-Cola Company. SIAGRO is one of the largest employers in Senegal’s Thies region, with 350 workers of whom a fifth are women.
The project highlighted the importance of the sector in the face of the growing food security challenges in Africa. The sector employs over 70 percent of Africa’s labor force, and has a strong impact on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
Alexandre Alcantra, CEO of Kirene, SIAGRO’s leading mineral water brand, said, “IFC’s global expertise will enable us to develop into a leading regional company implementing best practices.”
IFC is bringing support to Senegal in a range of ways. Earlier this year, for example, IFC signed an agreement with MicroCred Senegal to strengthen the supply of affordable financial services to clients in rural areas.
The project is part of the Partnership for Financial Inclusion, a joint $37.4 million initiative by IFC and The MasterCard Foundation to expand microfinance and advance mobile financial services in Africa.
IFC will provide advisory services for three years to MicroCred Senegal, supporting the development of mobile financial services as well as products adapted specifically to the needs of the rural clientele. Within three years, MicroCred Senegal estimates it will have added 127,000 new clients with the support of IFC’s combined investment and advisory services.