REMARKS BY OUMAR SEYDI, IFC DIRECTOR FOR EAST AND SOUTHERN AFRICA

REMARKS BY OUMAR SEYDI, IFC DIRECTOR FOR EAST AND SOUTHERN AFRICA

Coop Bank Ltd. Signing Ceremony

Nairobi, December 5, 2012

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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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