The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, today formally launches ‘Africalease’, an association that will promote leasing across sub-Saharan Africa in agribusinesses and transport, among others.
It is aimed at helping smaller businesses from transport companies to farms and retailers – gain the financing they need to grow and create jobs, the Corporation said. The association was launched at a major leasing conference in Accra organized by IFC and SECO, the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs. The conference convened regional leasing investors and experts to promote and discuss Africa’s potential $80 billion leasing market.
Alejandro Alvarez de la Campa, Practice Manager for the World Bank Group’s Finance, Competitiveness, and Innovation global practice, said, “Leasing is helping transform the ability of Africa’s smaller businesses to acquire the use of equipment for economic activities. Working in 25 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, IFC’s Africa Leasing Facility has helped mobilize $257 million in investments into the regional leasing sector, and delivered leasing training to about 24,000 people, including government officials, financial institutions, and small business owners.”
Abdallah Benhamida, Africalease President, said, “The regional equipment leasing market is ripe for investment, particularly in the agriculture, infrastructure, medical equipment and renewable energy sectors. Africalease will endeavor, as much as possible, to build a cohesive network to help unlock the region’s $80 billion potential.”
Smaller businesses employ about 60 percent of those with jobs in emerging economies but many are held back by a lack of access to finance. Since 2008, IFC and SECO have led the creation of a viable and sustainable leasing market in sub-Saharan Africa, helping establish leasing as a reliable financing tool.
IFC also launched the first Africa Equipment Leasing Handbook at the Accra event. The handbook estimates that sub-Saharan Africa’s current equipment leasing market stands at $40 billion – and expects it to at least double in size.
IFC’s Africa Leasing Facility ran from 2008 to the end of 2017, successfully developing leasing across the continent. IFC will continue to support leasing initiatives in Africa, such as the Africalease association, which gathers leasing practitioners to strengthen, reinforce cooperation, and harmonize activities to promote leasing across Africa.