The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has invested some $ 4.6 billion in favor of private companies in sub-Saharan Africa, between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020, a statement from the institution to APA on Thursday discloses.By Abdourahmane Diallo
This amount is higher than the engagements made in the 2019 fiscal year, which stood at $ 4.1 billion, despite the operational difficulties caused by the pandemic, the statement explains, adding that these investments have focused on health, agribusiness, solar energy, housing and infrastructure finance, as well as the funding of SMEs.
Countries in fragile and conflict situations have been the main beneficiaries of these funds, IFC having committed more than $ 1.2 billion of the total amount.
This support from the International Finance Corporation is part of a global investment of $ 5.6 billion to fund the private sector development in Africa and the Middle East.
For example, in the Middle East and North Africa, where the pandemic has caused a drop in oil production, tourism receipts and money transfers, IFC has invested more than $ 1billion to support the construction of hospitals and clinics in Iraq, Jordan, Egypt and Morocco.
In addition to these investments, the statement says, IFC’s support in the Middle East and Africa has taken the form of advisory services, amounting to more than $ 590 million spread over some 376 projects intended to improve the business environment and investment policies, while promoting and creating new markets in priority sectors.
Of all these projects, 45 percent worked to improve equality between women and men.
More generally, IFC’s investment and business advisory activities in the Middle East and Africa have made it possible to expand access to finance for small businesses, to better link small farmers to markets, and address disruptions in supply chains caused by the pandemic and increased access to electricity and renewable energy sources, the statement concludes.