World Bank’s IFC says invested $10 billion in Egypt in 10 years

The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) had invested $4 billion over the past decade in Egypt, said its country manager for Egypt, Libya, and Yemen on Wednesday.

IFC is committed to invest $300 million more in 2020, Walid Labadi told Ahram Online.

The corporation is looking forward to enhance its performance this year, Labadi said in interview with Ahram Online on the sidelines of the press conference held after IFC had signed an agreement with Egyptian micro-finance company Tanmeyah.

Labadi said Egypt’s unemployment in the formal sector is regressing, but that poverty is still a major challenge for the country and its economy.

The micro-finance sector plays a crucial role in attempting to resolve this issue through generating more jobs, combating poverty, and giving people hope, he added.

“Egypt’s micro-finance is a huge market with huge potentials. Yet, there are challenges on the ground, including the current regulatories, insufficient private capitals directed towards this sector, and shifting the mindset to focus on people’s needs to meet them.” Labadi said.

“The micro-finance sector is serving the majority of the Egyptian people.”

Egypt has high unemployment rates, making the strong micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector critical to spur job creation and economic growth in the country.

According to IFC data, a third of the population have access to bank accounts, while the formal MSME finance gap was estimated at $46.7 billion in 2017. This represents a significant opportunity for financial institutions to increase their outreach to individuals and the sector.

Labadi explained that the IFC secured more than $19 billion in long-term financing for developing countries during the 2018/2019 financial year, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.

The agreement with Tanmeyah is part of the IFC’s wider strategy which aims at expanding access to finance and support financial inclusion in Egypt, the corporation official added.

Source: Ahram Online