IFC’s Fragile and Conflict-affected Situations (FCS) Africa program was established in 2014 to support economic development, job creation, and increased opportunity in African FCS.

Africa is home to 21 of the 39 countries classified as fragile or conflict affected by IFC, which has made supporting their development a key priority.

Fragility is on the rise worldwide, with the share of the global poor living in FCS expected to reach 46 per cent by 2030.[1]  Business in fragile contexts is not business as usual: it can be risky and unpredictable, due to a lack of information, weak regulations, and poor infrastructure, among other factors.

Investors have been wary of doing business in fragile countries for a host of reasons including high operating costs, the lack of conducive business environments, the lack of market intelligence, and threats to security.

Despite the challenges, private sector growth and investor interest in fragile countries is growing, with many companies finding exciting opportunities.

IFC’s FCS Africa Program provides support through investments and advisory services, a presence on the ground, funding and business development, knowledge management, and by applying conflict and gender lenses to IFC interventions.

The FCS Africa program built on the experience of the Conflict Affected States in Africa (CASA) Initiative, IFC's first enabling platform dedicated to FCS, which was established in 2008.

CASA is a donor-funded, IFC-implemented platform that supports IFC’s advisory services projects across 13 African countries: Burundi, the Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, and Zimbabwe. Projects have driven investment climate reforms, advised close to 3000 companies, government agencies, and other entities, and have supported over 115,000 farmers.

The CASA initiative has informed and motivated many recent IFC innovations in African FCS, including the FCS Africa program and the East African Refugee program.

Over the past decade, IFC’s investments in African FCS have grown steadily, positioning IFC as the largest DFI investor in fragile states.

[1] World Bank. Fragility, Conflict, and Violence. Overview.