World Bank’s IFC to invest US$2 bln in African small businesses

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) announced a $2 billion investment to help small companies in Africa and improve international commerce as part of its efforts to aid the continent’s recovery from the pandemic.

While the pandemic’s impact on Africa has been less severe than in the United States, Europe, and increasingly India, the economic consequences have been significant.

The World Bank’s investment arm, the IFC, announced a $1 billion investment in new direct finance for micro, small, and medium-sized businesses, including mezzanine lending and risk-sharing instruments.

Another $1 billion will be used to assist international trade finance in order to “improve the flow of imports and exports of necessary items, including as food and medical products,” according to an IFC statement.

“This is a vital juncture for African people, businesses, and economies. “Long-term recovery will be dependent on providing money to the pillars of the economy that need it right now,” said Makhtar Diop, Managing Director of the IFC.

According to the announcement, the projects would be available to both public and commercial partners.

Last year, the IFC launched a worldwide $8 billion fast-track funding facility to assist current customers and their respective nations’ economy throughout the epidemic.

According to the IFC, more than half of the funds have already been deployed, with more than 30 percent going to IFC customers in Africa.

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