Supporting Broad Growth in Guinea

© Stephanie Sines/IFC

IFC is supporting Guinea’s recovery from Ebola through a series of engagements across the economy—spanning large mines, small businesses, biodiversity initiatives, and a new hotel in the capital, Conakry.

The 2014 Ebola outbreak killed 2,500 people in the West African country and disrupted many economic and social programs. A global commodities downturn has also caused headwinds for the country’s flagship iron ore mine and its associated rail and seaport infrastructure.

At the same time, IFC has made significant strides working with the Government of Guinea to advance policy reforms and make it easier for local companies to operate in and around the mining sector, including in support of a burgeoning industry for bauxite—the key ingredient in aluminum.

“We have a significant presence in Conakry and are doing everything we can to help the government achieve sustainable, equitable growth, including through opening doors to greater private sector activity,” said Cassandra Colbert, IFC manager for the Cote d’Ivoire sub-region, which includes Guinea.

IFC’s engagement has included helping set up a “one stop shop” for commercial permits and other approvals that has reduced the need for businesses to navigate different government ministries, and providing guidance to cut red tape. The time required to register a local business, for example, was reduced to just three days from 40 days previously.

A supply-chain development program led by IFC in partnership with the Government of Canada has benefited more than 800 small businesses in construction, catering, and other fields, including through training on financial management and health and safety procedures. An IFC-financed Sheraton hotel is under construction in the capital, and IFC advisory experts are helping improve the operational performance of Guinea’s electricity distribution company to provide more reliable services for households and industries. IFC’s engagement has also included efforts to protect chimpanzees and other animals whose habitats could be affected by industrial activity in the forests of eastern Guinea.

“Guinea has abundant mining, agricultural, and hydropower resources alongside rich biodiversity,” said Seynabou Ba, IFC Head of the Environment and Social Department in Africa. “IFC will bring together a coalition of stakeholders to identify approaches to addressing biodiversity issues at a ‘landscape level’ rather than simply focusing on individual projects.”

Published in June 2016