During its latest fiscal year, the International Finance Corporation (Ifc) provided a record amount of financing for Africa, contributing to the continent’s energy transition, the development of a greener and more sustainable manufacturing industry, and the promotion of intra-African trade.
According to a press release, these investments also aim to strengthen small businesses and boost local food production, including in challenging environments such as fragile and conflict-affected regions.
“Between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023, IFC invested $11.5 billion in 40 countries, marking the largest annual financing volume ever deployed on the continent.”
This support includes $1.12 billion for trade financing, $876 million dedicated to Africa’s energy transition, and $1.98 billion to help small businesses grow and create jobs. Ifc also invested $1.76 billion to enhance digital connectivity, develop telecommunication towers, and improve access to broadband and mobile internet,” Ifc informed.
Out of the total $11.5 billion invested by Ifc in Africa, $3.5 billion represents short-term financing, while $3.1 billion was mobilized from other investors. Additionally, 40% of IFC’s own-account financing was allocated to climate change mitigation, and 48% went to low-income, fragile or conflict-affected countries.
“In the current challenging global context, where economies are facing the shockwaves of multiple crises, we are committed to doubling our efforts to support the development of a resilient, inclusive, and greener private sector that contributes to infrastructure and digital solutions while addressing food insecurity and climate change,” said Sérgio Pimenta, Ifc’s Vice President for Africa.
According to the same source, as the continent strives to accelerate its climate action and move towards carbon neutrality, Ifc has increased its financing for climate projects. It provided $1.1 billion to Amea Power for the construction of Egypt’s largest wind and solar power plants, €242 million in financing to Sococim Industries in Senegal, and $500 million investment to Bua Cement in northern Nigeria to promote greener and low-carbon cement production.
To strengthen digital connectivity, Ifc and Miga announced a $1.3 billion investment through equity stakes, loans, and guarantees to support Safaricom Ethiopia in deploying a new telecommunications network in Ethiopia. And to empower small businesses further, Ifc granted $208 million to partners in 12 countries through the Base of the Pyramid program, including integrating new partners in Cameroon and Madagascar.
“During the last fiscal year, Ifc’s Africa Fragility Initiative (Afi) supported 18 capacity-building advisory projects in the most nascent and fragile markets. Ifc and its partners also announced four new projects under the Alliance for Entrepreneurship in Africa, aiming to support micro, small, and medium enterprises (Msme) in addressing food insecurity, increasing trade, and improving productivity and efficiency in the agricultural sector,” said Ifc.