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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Liberia: Over 1,000 Jobs Tie to IFC’s $20 Million Water Production Loan

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To help increase the availability of clean and affordable bottled drinking water in Liberia and Sierra Leone, IFC  has announced a partnership with Afropa’s Aqualife Liberia’s  Inc., a leading Liberian beverage and food production and distribution company.

Under the partnership, IFC will provide a $20 million loan to Afropa to help the company increase its water bottling capacity in Liberia and refurbish a water bottling plant in Sierra Leone. The project, which is expected to create more than 1,000 permanent jobs, includes the installation of solar panels at both plants to reduce the company’s reliance on fossil fuels and lower carbon emissions.

IFC’s financing package comprises a $10 million loan from its own account and a $10 million loan from the IDA20 IFC-MIGA Private Sector Window Blended Finance Facility. This initiative will support Afropa’s growth and cross-border expansion, increase bottled water production, and improve market access for bottled water.

“This investment is a key step in our expansion and operational improvement across the sub-region. The loan will enable us to supply more affordable high-quality products to our customers and contribute to economic development and job creation in the countries where we operate,” said Joe Barbar, Founder and CEO of Afropa.

“This partnership reflects IFC’s commitment to sustainable economic growth in Liberia and Sierra Leone,” said Dahlia Khalifa, IFC Regional Director for Central Africa and Anglophone West Africa. “By supporting Afropa, we aim to contribute to job creation, innovation, and sustainable practices that will benefit the local communities the company serves.”

In addition to the loan, IFC will provide advisory services to help Afropa implement a food safety management system compliant with ISO 22000 standards and help the company establish a waste management process that includes the collection, shredding, and recycling of used bottles.

IFC is increasing its support for strong local champions — companies that have the potential to become regional or global sector leaders and strengthen local markets – such as Afropa. This partnership also aligns with IFC’s efforts to encourage economic diversification and growth in countries affected by fragility and conflict.

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