This continent is home to some of the greatest challenges and opportunities for those working to raise living standards, reduce poverty, and build a more sustainable, inclusive world.
To help strengthen the private sector role in Africa’s development, IFC draws on all its core functions: investing, advising, mobilizing capital, and managing assets.
IFC made new investments of $4.0 billion in the year to June 2012, including $1.2 billion mobilized from other investors. Its advisory services have a portfolio of $189 million in projects across the region.
Combining a global knowledge of industries and markets based on more than 55 years of experience in emerging markets with our presence in 21 African countries, we put a major focus on the continent.
In line with our development ethos, part of our larger commitment within the World Bank Group is to provide solutions for an inclusive and sustainable world.
To be effective in this region, IFC centers its efforts around three broad areas:
• Improving the investment climate by working at both the national and regional level to remove the barriers to greater private investment. This forms the basis for the increased job creation and earning power that leads to poverty reduction.
• Encouraging entrepreneurship by building micro, small, and medium enterprise owners’ access to finance, markets, and management skills. There is a special emphasis on women entrepreneurs and inclusive business at the base of the pyramid.
• Transforming key markets and industries through strategic initiatives in priority areas where private sector participation is currently low, beginning with a major focus on infrastructure, food and agribusiness.
Supporting financial markets to help reach its goals accounts for a substantial portion of IFC’s business in the region. IFC looks to make an impact through its projects in conflict affected states, that reduce climate change, promote regional integration or South-South trade, and that have high environmental and social standards.
We work to increase incomes across Africa through sustainable, inclusive growth, building on the momentum in more successful countries. In others IFC helps to put some of the essential building blocks of private sector development in place: basic infrastructure (especially power and transport) to support agribusiness and manufacturing competitiveness; the improved investment climates and access to finance needed to scale up business growth; and expanded private participation in health and education to serve a growing African population.
Summarized in a few words, these far-reaching efforts all reflect IFC’s corporate goal: creating opportunity where it is needed most.