Partnering with the IFC

On Wednesday, August 1, 2018, Corporate Council on Africa hosted a working group meeting on 'Partnering with the IFC' with guest speaker, Ms. Fabiana Feld, Chief Investment Officer, Global Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services Department, IFC. 

Laird Trieber, Special Adviser to CCA President and CEO delivered the opening remarks, noting that the 'World Bank Family' has been an incredible partner to CCA in discovering constructive ways to encourage public/private partnerships; and increase U.S. private sector engagement in Africa.

Holly Vineyard, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Global Markets, US Department of Commerce, gave a few opening remarks thanking CCA for the excellent sequencing of programs that have helped the World Bank Group (WBG) communicate more frequently with the U.S business community interested in investing in Africa.  She referenced remarks that Enzo de Laurentiis, World Bank Chief Procurement Officer, made regarding The World Bank’s dedication to growing from being an institution that makes commitments of $60 billion to $100 billion a year, by 2030. This increase will allow the bank to work with more low-income countries, which could mean up to $50 billion in lending for Africa yearly.

Ms. Vinyard described the IFC as the most dynamic branch of the WBG and introduced Fabiana Feld. Ms. Feld’s presentation highlighted IFC financed projects in emerging markets.

 She described the IFC as a development institution with the goal of ending poverty, boosting shared prosperity, tackling climate change and advancing gender equality.  One main goal of the IFC is to create a a new strategy to tackle developing markets.

She declared that IFC provides loans for healthcare and infrastructure sectors, noting that they finance projects no less than $2 million in value. According to Ms. Feld, “We attempt to be strategic in our approach to different countries, to look at the problem of financing in a more holistic way.” 
 
Ms. Feld made it clear that there is no typical time frame for the IFC approval process.  However, she emphasized that working with the IFC provides a stamp of approval due to their thorough due diligence process. The IFC tries to be a catalyst and invite other institutions to invest with them. Their thorough due diligence process enables them to mitigate risk, so as to maintain their Triple-A rating. She closed by noting that the World Bank considers Africa the most important of its focus regions.