IFC invests $11.5 billion for Africa’s green transition and job creation
IFC said it made $11.5 billion in investments between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023, across 40 countries, the largest ever annual commitment for the continent.
International Finance Corporation (IFC), the arm of the World Bank Group that finances the private sector, has announced that it has provided record financing in Africa in fiscal year 2023, helping to accelerate the continent’s energy transition, develop greener manufacturing, increase intra-Africa trade, strengthen smaller businesses, and boost local food production, including in more challenging fragile and conflict-affected regions.
IFC said it made $11.5 billion in investments between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023, across 40 countries, the largest ever annual commitment for the continent. The support includes $1.12 billion in trade financing, $876 million for the continent's green energy transition, and $1.98 billion to help smaller businesses grow and create jobs. IFC also provided $1.76 billion to boost digital connectivity, with investments in telecom towers, broadband, and mobile internet growth.
Of the $11.5 billion, IFC provided $3.5 billion in short-term financing and mobilised $3.1 billion, with 40 percent of IFC's own account financing dedicated to addressing climate change and 48 percent going to low-income and fragile and conflict-affected states.
"At difficult times like these, when the shockwaves of multiple crises are shaking economies worldwide, we are stepping up our work to support a resilient, inclusive, and greener private sector that is helping provide infrastructure and digital solutions while also tackling food security and climate change," said Sérgio Pimenta, IFC Vice President for Africa. “Catalysing increased private sector innovation and financing for addressing climate change, bridging gender gaps, and empowering the next generation of startup leaders has been at the forefront of our work this past year and will continue to drive our engagements as we work with partners to create jobs and opportunities for more people.”
According to the global financier, as the continent accelerates its climate response and shifts to a net-zero world, IFC increased its financing for climate projects. This included $1.2 billion in financing to support financial institutions to expand their climate and sustainability lending, $1.1 billion to AMEA Power to build Egypt’s largest wind and solar plants, a €242 million financing package for Senegal’s Sococim Industries and a $500 million investment in BUA Cement in Northern Nigeria to promote greener, low-carbon cement manufacturing. To strengthen digital connectivity, IFC and MIGA announced $1.3 billion in equity investments, loans, and guarantees to support Safaricom Ethiopia's greenfield telecommunications network across Ethiopia. And to empower more small businesses, IFC provided $208 million to partners in 12 countries through the Base of the Pyramid Program including on boarding new partners in Cameroon and Madagascar into the program.
During the financial year, IFC’s Africa Fragility Initiative (AFI) supported 18 advisory projects focused on developing private sector capacity in the most nascent and fragile markets in Africa. IFC and its partners also announced four new projects through the Alliance for Entrepreneurship in Africa to support micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises and help address food insecurity, and increase trade and agricultural productivity and efficiency.
To further support the growth of women-owned businesses in Africa and to bridge gender gaps, IFC said it launched She WINS Africa, a program designed to unlock the potential of hundreds of women-owned startups with advice, training, mentorship, and improved access to finance. In Tanzania, IFC launched Anaweza: She Can, which is helping advance the role of women in Tanzania’s private sector.
In addition to its investments in Africa, IFC said it provided Advisory and Upstream Services with a portfolio of more than $445 million across 275 projects aimed at improving the investment climate and helping Africa create markets and attract investment. For example, IFC provided the governments of Cote d’Ivoire and Egypt support developing public-private partnerships that will unlock private investment in both countries’ infrastructure sectors. In the last financial year, 22 percent of the Advisory and Upstream spend was on projects focused on climate change, and 43 percent of all new projects approved supported improvements in gender equality.
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