The FINANCIAL -- IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, on July 13 announced that Cheikh Oumar Seydi has assumed the role IFC’s Regional Director for the entire Sub-Saharan Africa region effective July 1, expanding his leadership role for IFC.
In order to further strengthen regional leadership IFC will add two Associate Director positions to support the delivery of the IFC strategy in Africa, which is central to the implementation of the global IFC 3.0 strategy. An Associate Director will soon be appointed for West and Central Africa, based in Dakar, and another will cover East and Southern Africa, based in Nairobi, reporting to the Regional Director.
“Africa is a priority for IFC, and Oumar’s leadership will help us play a growing role to catalyze private investment in the continent,” said IFC CEO Philippe Le Houérou, “Our goal is to work with the private sector and with governments to create markets throughout Africa, including in fragile situations, to provide more opportunities and more jobs for people.”
IFC’s long-term strategy, or IFC 3.0, is anchored around the two pillars of creating markets and mobilizing private capital. It is intended to make IFC more strategic, efficient and impactful and to operationalize the new development finance reality that places the private sector at the heart of development—not only to raise more capital but to drive innovation and lower cost, according to IFC.
IFC’s priorities in Africa are bridging the infrastructure gap; building productive industries, including more productive agribusiness and a robust manufacturing base; and leading inclusive business approaches, including through technology, media, and telecoms, and promoting access to finance through financial institutions. IFC supports its priorities and development impact through projects and programs that expand capital markets, encourage empowerment of women, mitigate climate change, improve the investment climate, and deepen partnerships.
“IFC has a strong franchise in Africa and we have the opportunity to increase our impact by ensuring that private investment plays a much larger role in the continent’s development,” said Seydi, “IFC will work across the World Bank Group and with other partners to provide private investors with the products and services they require to de-risk projects. IFC aims to increase our impact by supporting reforms that promote the private sector at-large, including leveraging the results of the IFC-World Bank Doing Business reports.”
IFC invested nearly $19 billion globally in fiscal 2016, including about $8 billion mobilized from other investors. In Sub-Saharan Africa, IFC provided $2.4 billion new long term investments and mobilizations and $1.5 billion in short term investments. IFC also facilitated an additional $700 million in mobilizations in the region on behalf MIGA, another World Bank Group institution that promotes foreign direct investment by providing political risk guarantees and credit enhancements to investors. IFC anticipates strong growth in the Africa region.
Mr. Seydi has held various positions at IFC, including Director of Human Resources for more than four years. He was previously Senior Manager for the Central Africa sub-region, responsible for overall management of IFC's investment and advisory operations in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo Republic, Chad, DRC, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
Oumar joined IFC in 1997 as an Investment Officer focused on the chemicals sector in a department for oil, gas, mining and agribusiness. Before that he was a manager at Ernst & Young in New York, where he provided consulting services in restructuring, reorganization, corporate finance and business valuation. Earlier in his career, he spent five years at the United States Agency for International Development and gained experience in commercial banking and auditing in Senegal and Belgium.
Seydi holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.