The newly appointed Chief Operating Officer of International Finance Corporation (IFC), Mr. Rashad Kaldany has affirmed IFC's commitment to supporting private sector development in Liberia as he opened IFC's new office in Monrovia yesterday in the presence of Natty B. Davis, Chairman of Liberia's National Investment Commission.
Kaldany said, "Building the road to prosperity after years of conflict is a long-term effort. Since peace came back to Liberia, we have been supporting private sector growth in the country by working with the government to facilitate business operations and reduce opportunities for graft, and by investing in game-changing companies. As we open a bigger office in Monrovia, we commit to increasing our efforts and to be Liberia's long-term partner."
IFC currently manages investments in Liberia totaling 17 million United States dollars in the agribusiness, mining and banking sectors. In partnership with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, IFC has actively been supporting the government's efforts to improve its investment climate and has put in place several initiatives to help SME's access to finance, including a leasing program and a program to create collateral registries.
During his visit, Kaldany, jointly with Miata Beysolow, Minister of Commerce and Industry, launched the Liberia Women Entrepreneurs Network, a platform to empower women entrepreneurs to undertake business initiative. The network will enable women entrepreneurs to exchange ideas, frame policy recommendations and pool resources.
Finally, Kaldany also met with financial backers and representatives of the private sector with whom he discussed the difficulties encountered by Liberian businesses and possible solutions.
Liberia is one of eight countries in Sub-Saharan Africa supported by IFC's Conflict Affected States in Africa Initiative (CASA), which provides advisory services to strengthen the private sector in countries recovering from conflict.
CASA is helping Liberia improve its investment climate, attract investment, and develop its SME sector. In Liberia, CASA is supported by donor partners which include Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world's most pressing development challenges.