The International Finance Corporation (IFC) says its investments in Ghana alone presently stand at $533 million.
According to the private sector arm of the World Bank, it has investments in oil and gas, mining and agriculture sectors such as the oil palm industry among other sectors.
Mary-Jean Ndlovo, Ghana Country Manager, mentioned at a press briefing after a two-day consultative stakeholders’ meeting on oil palm that her outfit’s major objectivity was to lift people out of poverty, hence investing in the productive sectors of the economy.
Mrs. Ndlovo said the IFC and the World Bank were working with a diverse group of stakeholders to inform its new global strategy that will guide future engagements such as the palm oil sector.
The IFC and the World Bank last week held a meeting in Accra with representatives from Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone to develop an oil palm strategy that is expected to make the commodity a real export earner for the nation and the continent.
The discussion focused on the need to support smallholder producers through access to finance, environmental certification, land policy and technology transfer.
It also touched on the potential of the palm oil industry in Sub Saharan Africa and its economic, social and environmental implications. Productivity was described as key to the industry’s future.
“Sub Saharan Africa has a long history of palm oil production. This consultative process is helping us to identify key issues affecting the palm oil sector and define ways by which the World Bank Group can support economic development while protecting the environment,” said Mary-Jean Ndlovo.
Palm oil production in Africa represents only three percent of global supply, though the product is the most popular food on the African continent.
The strategy would outline a set of principles to guide the World Bank Group's future engagement in the palm oil sector, with the key goal of maximizing development outcome for the communities and minimizing adverse social and environmental impacts of the sector.
IFC provides investments and advisory services to build the private sector in developing countries.