Categories: en Date: 17/04/09 Title: IFC press releaseIFC Investment, Advisory Services to Support DRC's RAWBANK Extend Financial Services to Smaller Businesses and Women
IFC will extend a $7 million loan to RAWBANK under a program designed to boost lending to micro, small, and medium enterprises across Sub-Saharan Africa through local banks. In addition to the investment, IFC will advise the bank on how to better develop and market products for smaller businesses including women entrepreneurs. Furthermore, understanding that women businesses need more than just bank products, IFC in partnership with RAWBANK will work with women entrepreneurs to improve their financial management skills and increase their capacity to apply for bank loans.
"Working with IFC will increase RAWBANK's capacity to make term loans to smaller businesses and women entrepreneurs, an important part of the Congolese economy," said Michel Notebaert, Vice President, Executive Committee of RAWBANK. "Reaching underserved segment of the financial market will enable RAWBANK to help create employment and reduce poverty in the Democratic Republic of Congo."
IFC is doing more across East and Central Africa as it expands activities in the world's poorest countries and those at the frontier of private sector development. Although DRC's private sector is growing steadily, it remains one of the world's poorest countries with GDP per capita of $178 in 2008 according to International Monetary Fund estimates.
"IFC is working to expand financial services where they are needed most, particularly in Africa's poorest countries and those emerging from conflict," said Thierry Tanoh, IFC Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa. "Increasing access to finance for smaller businesses and women entrepreneurs, who are a very important segment of this market, is a critical tool in the fight against poverty and a central part of IFC's strategy to support the development of a vibrant private sector in the region."
Tanoh is in DRC on a five-day visit to highlight IFC's commitment to and partnership with the country. Tanoh's agenda includes meetings with private sector clients, development partners, and government officials, including President Joseph Kabila and Finance Minister Athanase Matenda Kyelu.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC's vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.