IFC makes record African commitments

The International Finance Corporation has committed $1.8bn of investments to 30 African nations over the past year, a record for the bank since its establishment in 1956.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has committed $1.8 billion of investments to African nations over the last fiscal year, the bank revealed earlier this week.

During the fiscal year ending in June the IFC, a member of the World Bank group, committed the sum across 30 countries. The $1.8 billion represents the largest volume of lending activity in the continent in a single year by the IFC since its establishment in 1956.

The figure is 32 percent up on the $1.4 billion of commitments recorded in the previous year. The bank also provided advisory services to the value of $26.1 million in the region, an increase on the $18.6 million the previous year.

IFC’s infrastructure transactions in Africa over the past year include a $100 million loan to Ghanaian energy company Kosmos Energy, which is one of the firms developing Ghana’s Jubilee oil field, and the creation of a new private equity fund in conjunction with the African Development Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and development finance institution DEG. The fund reached a first close of $57 million.

Earlier this year IFC announced it is to collaborate with other international financial institutions in committing $15 billion over the next two or three years to lessen the impact of the global financial crisis on Africa.