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The International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group (WBG) announced that its current portfolio in Ethiopia has reached USD 74 million in a quite wide range of sectors. IFC is a branch of WBG, the largest multilateral source of financing for private enterprises in emerging markets.
Its share capital is provided by its 182 member countries which approve investments and as such its new investments in sub-Saharan Africa in 2011 was about USD 2.2 billion stretching to 31 countries. IFC also currently has advisory services active in 31 countries in Africa, with 133 projects.
IFC touted the new figures as ways to increase finance for small businesses and help mobilize key economic sectors like tourism, infrastructure and manufacturing. IFC the largest multilateral source of financing for private enterprises in emerging markets at long term and market priced basis opened its office in 2008. Their first major investment was Sheik Al Almoudi’s giant Derba Midroc Cement Project plant.
Derba Midroc Cement touted to be one of the largest cement projects in Ethiopia became operational in January 2012 and was helped partly by a USD 55 million loan from IFC which was part of the USD 200 million debt financing package from international financial institutions.
IFC touts of the project located 70Km north of Addis Ababa because it has a lower carbon footprint than other similar cement plants while generating more than 10,000 job opportunities.
This is not the first time IFC worked with Sheik Al Almoudi. In 2007 it worked with another plant he operates in Eastern Yemen.
Similar IFC investments have been made in the coffee sector, Ethiopia’s largest export so far availing up to USD 10 million as a guarantee facility for banks willing to loan to coffee farmer cooperatives.
It has also invested in a Global Warehouse Financing Program used to allow farmers to have more flexibility in the timing of their sales to protect themselves from price seasonality, enhancing their incomes as well as opening Ethiopia’s first credit information bureau in August 2011, with USD 2.9 million grant.
The latter was created as a web-based interface that allows 13 commercial banks and five microfinance institutions to share credit information monthly.