NewsEast & Horn AfricaEthiopia: World Bank invests in local company


Posted on Thursday, 16 April 2015 17:00

Ethiopia: World Bank invests in local company

By Tinishu Solomon

Photo©ReutersEthiopian based flower grower, Afriflora Group, is set to benefit from a World Bank finance facility, after the bank announced it will lend up to €90 million to the company.

The funding will support Afriflora's plan to expand production by 60 percent, install water recycling systems, and increase employment by more than 50 per cent.

This investment will help develop the logistics, cold storage and transport required to fulfil this potential

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, in a statement this week said the major aim is to support rural employment in the East African nation.

Afriflora, the leading large-scale rose grower and distributor in Ethiopia with more than 9,000 workers, was founded by the Barnhoorn family.

Peter Barnhoorn of Afriflora said the family-run manufacturer and marketer of cut-rose products is "committed to expanding production in a way that adheres to global standards for environmental and social sustainability".

"Our new partnership with IFC will allow Afriflora to transition to the next phase of our growth strategy," he said.

The Afriflora Group, with its main growing facility located in the town of Ziway, directly supports about 30,000 to 40,000 people and more than 100,000 people benefit positively from the spill over effect.

IFC head of manufacturing, agribusiness and services in Africa, German Vegarra said the horticulture industry holds great potential for creating jobs, generating economic growth, and reducing poverty.

"Ethiopia's climate, land and water resources can make it a strong competitor in the European market for cut flowers," Vegarra said.

"This investment will help develop the logistics, cold storage and transport required to fulfil this potential."

IFC, in a statement on Tuesday, said promoting agribusiness is a priority for IFC in Africa, due to agriculture's potential to create jobs, secure food supply and catalyse economic growth.

In its fiscal year ending June 2014, IFC invested $686 million in agribusiness projects across Sub-Saharan Africa.

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