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According to an article published on the IFC site, when IFC first invested in Kenya’s Gulf African Bank in 2013, Islamic finance was a growing phenomenon in Sub-Saharan Africa. Gulf African Bank was among only a handful of financial institutions in East Africa to offer sharia-compliant financial products. IFC supported Gulf African Bank’s new model by providing $5 million equity and a $3 million trade finance line.


A year later, Islamic financial institutions have gained a firmer foothold on the continent.  Nigeria, now Africa’s largest economy, and Sudan, have joined the $ 100 billion annual market for sukuk, or Islamic bonds; while Senegal and South Africa are set to follow soon.


Tagged in: Africa IFC investment
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IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, on May 7 announced an investment of $172.5 million in FirstRand Bank Limited. The transaction represents the first cross-border investment in Basel III Tier 2 instruments in South Africa, and one of the first globally in emerging markets.  The debt will be provided by IFC Capitalization Fund, which is managed by the IFC Asset Management Company.

Andries du Toit, FirstRand group treasurer said, “This significant financing from IFC Capitalization Fund is expected to provide support to our strategy to grow lending to small and medium sized entities (SMEs) in South Africa and the rest of Africa.”

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