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31.10.2005 Business & Finance

Private Enterprise Partnership for Africa launched

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Accra, Oct.31, GNA - The International Finance Corporation (IFC), private sector arm of the World Bank at the weekend launched the Private Enterprise Partnership for Africa (PEP Africa) in Accra. PEP Africa represents a significant scaling up in the depth of IFC's technical assistance and advisory work in Africa. This new programme seeks to provide innovative solutions for the development of Ghana's private sector.

PEP Africa programmes will also support IFC's investment strategy in Africa, which includes improving the business environment, proactively identifying investment opportunities, and supporting the growth of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).

Mr Bernard Chidzero, General Manager of PEP Africa, launching the programme, said it was a follow-up of the African Project Development Facility (APDF), which ended in June this year. The APDF has been in existence for the past 18 years to provide business development and capacity building services to small and medium scale enterprise (SME) in sub-Sahara Africa.

Mr Chidzero said PEP Africa, had been designed to broadly promote Private Sector Development on a sector-wide basis, while continuing to provide direct support for SME's development.

On PEP Africa, Mr Chidzero said the project would target specific sectors, address cross-cutting issues such as; Financial Market, Infrastructure, Agribusiness, Tourism, Health and Education, and Extractive industries (oil, gas and mining).

The programme would in addition; create an enabling business environment for SME's development and access to finance, promote supply chain linkages between SME's and large corporations.

It would also mitigate the adverse economic impact of HIV/AIDS on business performance, mainstream issues of gender equity to strengthen the role and impact of women in business and raise awareness of good corporate governance as a prerequisite for enhanced performance. Mr. Chidzero explained that through the PEP Africa programme, the donor community would have access to an IFC-managed facility to design multi-year private sector development strategies by sector country or region.

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