Coop Bank Ltd. Signing Ceremony

Nairobi, December 5, 2012


IFC Director for East and Southern Africa Mr. Oumar Seydi addresses journalists in a press briefing, announcing a 60 million USD loan agreement with Coop Bank, as Dr. Gideon Muriuki CEO and Group Managing Director of Co-operative Bank of Kenya looks on.

Good  morning everyone,


  • I would like to thank Co-op Bank for their warm welcome and hosting this event.


  • To other guests and members of the press, thank you for attending – it must not have been easy given the current traffic situation!


  • As IFC’s new Director for East and Southern Africa, I am delighted to extend this loan to support Coop Bank in
    • SME finance
    • supporting agriculture projects and
    • promoting economic inclusion in East Africa


  • Athough SMEs may be small, they have a very large impact on the economy.

  • In 2010, 81% of all jobs created in Kenya could be attributed to small and medium enterprises.


  • As many of you know, getting access to finance is life line for small businesses. Still, in many countries in Africa, entrepreneurs are excluded from the financial services.


  • IFC partners with banks such as Co-op, to help them sustainably and profitably increase business with smaller businesses in Africa.


  • To date, IFC has teamed up with ten banks and one microfinance institution in Kenya, Coop being the newest member of our family.


  • Before I get into the specifics of our investment in Co-op Bank., let me tell you a little about IFC


  • IFC is
    • the world’s largest development institution focused on the private sector.
    • We encourage sustainable growth by
      • Financing private sector investment
      • providing advisory services to businesses and governments
      • and mobilizing capital in international financial markets.


  • In Africa, IFC is active in more than 30 countries, and has been expanding steadily.  IFC’s business in sub Saharan Africa has grown from just $140 million in 2003 to $4 billion last year!

  • During the last fiscal year alone, IFC’s work with banks helped provide loans of over $ 1 billion to African SMEs.


  • By working with banks like Co-op, we hope to provide similar support this year. 

  • Co-op Bank’s business model is very close to IFC’s heart


    • not only because we are both committed to the SME sector


    • but also because we share a vision for agriculture as a driving force of Kenya’s economy.


  • As many of you know, Co-op Bank has a long history in the agricultural sector
    • The bank’s roots lie in Kenya’s co-operative movement
    • Co-op is still the preferred bank of the movement
      • which now has over 8 million members, most of whom are engaged in micro-enterprise in rural Kenya.


  • Agribusiness is also at the core of IFC strategy in Africa.  Agriculture provides
    • Employment for over 70% of Africa’s population
    • over 25% of the continent’s GDP
    • Increased agricultural productivity can create food security for the thousands who go hungry


  • IFC works in agribusiness projects to help farmers and producers finance seeds, fertilizers, chemicals, and fuel.


  • Last year, IFC invested $550 million in agribusiness projects in Africa.


  • Over the next 5 years, we hope to increase those investments to $ 2 billion.


  • Partners such as Co-op Bank will be crucial for IFC’s efforts to boost agribusiness.


  • Along with the $ 60 million loan that IFC is providing for the SME and agriculture sector, we are also extending a $ 5 million trade line to Co-op Bank through our Global Trade Finance Program.


  • This program provides banks in emerging markets with guarantees to cover risks associated with trade.  We are excited to welcome Co-op Bank to the Program, and hope they will benefit from it.


  • In Co-op Bank, IFC has found a valuable partner in this region.  Not only is Co-op Kenya’s third largest bank, it is now also looking to provide financial services in South Sudan.


  • As a new member of the IFC East Africa team, I am proud of the results that  IFC and Co-op Bank have produced for the hard working entrepreneurs of Kenya and their families.


  • I look forward to continuing this partnership.  Thank you.
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