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Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa > Industries  > Financial Markets 

IFC in Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa

With offices all over Africa, we are where you are. Contact an IFC office in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Financial Markets in Africa


IFC is a leading investor in small and medium enterprises, microfinance, trade, and climate change mitigation. 


Access to Finance Advisory services help increase the availability and affordability of financial services for individuals and micro, small and medium enterprises. Our advisory services often accompany the financial investments, giving clients the benefit of in-house expertise from seasoned sector specialists. We also partner with consultants familiar with local conditions to provide solutions suited to the unique characteristics of a particular country. Our projects include assistance to banks and specialized financial institutions in improving their ability to provide financial services to micro, small, and medium enterprises. 



Private Equity and Investment Funds


IFC has invested in emerging market private equity funds since the 1980s, and in 2000 created a group dedicated to investments in funds. IFC has since become a significant player in the emerging market funds space, having backed around 10% of the funds coming to market since 2000. Our portfolio currently stands at around $3.0 billion committed to about 180 funds across Africa, East Asia, South Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.


Private equity funds help companies to improve focus and negotiate the transformations and risks of rapid growth. Rapidly growing companies create jobs: the average annual rate of job creation within companies backed by IFC-supported funds since 2000 has been 22%, well in advance of regional rates of 2-3%.


Since 2000 around 50% of funds backed by IFC have been run by 1st time managers. Our returns on first time funds have been particularly strong and many of the managers we supported are now leaders in their markets. Our returns on private equity fund investments since 2000 are in the top quartile of the Cambridge EM Benchmark.


IFC brings its standards and policy requirements to the funds in which it invests. These include its exclusion list, environmental and social sustainability standards, governance, integrity due diligence and fund terms consistent with best market practice.


Currently IFC is looking to commit up to $500 million a year in twenty to twenty-five funds globally. Our strategy currently emphasizes growth equity funds, climate change, and SME funds. We will also selectively support small business funds in frontier regions. As we seek to achieve proof of concept to attract commercial capital, we are very selective. The twenty or so funds we back each year are selected from over 200 funds we see annually.


The annual conference we sponsor in association with the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA) has grown from a friends and family gathering to become the premier global emerging market private equity event, attracting over 800 fund managers and investors from around the world.


More information on our experience investing in emerging market funds and what we look for in funds can be found in the News and Presentations page.


For more information contact:
Neha Sud
Communications Officer
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 20 275 9441
Email: nsud@ifc.org


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