The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private investment arm of the World Bank Group, has given a $10 million (KSh1.1 billion) loan to Kioo Limited to help the company weather the challenges created by the covid19 pandemic.
Kioo limited is based in Tanzania and is the largest producer of glass bottles in East Africa. The company which mainly supplies glass bottles to beverages companies has been severely affected by the closure of bars and restaurants in some East African countries as well as the restrictions on public gatherings.
The IFC loan will provide the company with much-needed capital to continue operating even in a challenging environment. Kioo limited will use the funds to pay employees and invest in energy-efficient machinery to reduce its carbon emissions.
In a press statement, IFC’s Representative for Tanzania and Burundi, Frank Ajilore, said, “Supporting businesses with financing is a major part of IFC’s strategy to protect jobs and sustain economic activities as we navigate the challenges of COVID-19.”
Kioo limited supplies glass bottles to more than 12 African countries including some island nations in the Indian Ocean. The company has 600 employees throughout its network. Kioo is keen to protect the environment and intends to install energy-efficient machinery in its Dar es Salaam factory in order to cut down on carbon emissions.
IFC has been supporting SMEs in the East African region through loans and equity investments. Currently, the financial organization has over $5 billion invested in African businesses and financial institutions.