A Bigger Role for IFC in Africa During Crisis

IFC Vice President Thierry Tanoh has reaffirmed IFC’s commitment to Africa during the financial crisis, spelling out a strategy to provide more capital for banks and increase support for the continent’s poorest and most vulnerable countries.

In a
taped interview,Tanoh explained that IFC’s strategy in Africa was based on three pillars: improving the investment climate, supporting small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), and helping develop large infrastructure projects.

Tanoh also spotlighted some of Africa’s recent achievements to which IFC contributed, including IFC’s advisory services support for Botswana, Burkina Faso, and Senegal. The three countries each made the top 10 list of global reformers according to the World Bank’s 2009 Doing Business Report.

Special funds

Speaking about the gathering financial crisis and its spread to emerging markets, Tanoh said IFC was stepping up its support for African economies with a number of special funds.

IFC’s new fund for providing capital to banks (launched with a $2 billion injection from Japan), the Infrastructure Fund, the Trade Finance Fund, and the Sovereign Fund are each designed to support economic recovery and job creation.

As of March 16, IFC had committed $772 million to projects in Africa in FY09

Tanoh also highlighted IFC’s Health in Africa initiative as a project that will deliver widespread developmental benefits. Health in Africa will boost the private sector’s health care role in countries across Africa, helping address the continent’s mounting health care challenges, and improve services to the poor.

Tanoh is IFC Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa, Western Europe, and Global Manufacturing, and a member of IFC's Management Group.

An Ivorian national, Tanoh leads IFC's strategy for the poorest and conflict-affected countries. Based in Johannesburg, he is IFC's first vice president stationed outside Washington D.C., an appointment that reflects IFC’s growing commitment to Africa.

For more information contact:

Jason Hopps
Communications Officer
Johannesburg, South Africa
Phone: +27 11 731 3120
E-mail: jhopps@ifc.org