The International Finance Corporation, the World Bank’s private-sector lending arm, will invest up to $3.5 billion in Sub-Saharan Africa this year, claimed a report by Reuters on Wednesday, as the organisation prepares to spend more cash in building up the region’s infrastructure sector.
According to IFC’s East and Southern Africa Director Jean-Philippe Prosper, the organisation intends to invest in close to 30 countries within Sub-Saharan Africa, as investments grow from $2.7 billion last year to a projected $4 billion in 2013.
Related: Foreign Direct Investment in Africa
The IFC is looking into helping countries build up their roads, rail and energy systems following decades of under investment, as the region races to raise their competitiveness in the global market.
In Kenya alone, the IFC could invest close to $600 million in infrastructure projects, particularly with the country discovering oil for the first time in its history earlier this week.
The Kenya-Uganda railway along with three other energy projects are expected to be the major beneficiaries of IFC funds, with Kenya’s Equity Bank also receiving an $840 million loan in order to expand their own lending facilities to small and medium enterprises.
Related: Kenya Economy
In total, the IFC will invest more than $1 billion on infrastructure alone in Africa for 2012, said Prosper. This will be the first time ever that the corporation has also invested so much cash on infrastructure projects in just one year.
The IFC was established in 1956 to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries. Today, the IFC is the largest multilateral source of loan and equity financing for private sector projects in the developing world.