IFC-FCS AFRICA / CASA PROGRAM
FCS Africa / CASA Program is to strengthen the private sectors of fragile states. FCS Africa / CASA Program provides support through a combination of initiatives that includes among others a focus on gender (a ‘gender lens’ is helping ensure IFC projects support women in business).
To this end, FCS Africa / CASA Program has agreed to sponsor “Dare 2 Aspire-Women in Entrepreneurship”
IFC’s CASA Initiative in Sierra Leone
WHAT IS THE CASA INITIATIVE?
IFC’s CASA Initiative, launched in 2008, is helping design and implement integrated strategies specially targeted to support economic recovery in conflict-affected countries. The Initiative is supported by Ireland, the Netherlands, and Norway, while Denmark and Sweden provide additional support in South Sudan and Liberia respectively.
The CASA Initiative focuses on:
• Improving the business environment through regulatory reform
• Strengthening small and medium sized businesses and support institutions, such as chambers of commerce
• Rebuilding financial markets, banks, and other financial institutions
• Increasing private sector involvement in providing and rebuilding infrastructure such as roads, ports, schools, and power stations
IFC’s CASA Initiative is helping strengthen smaller businesses in Sierra Leone and is working with the government and private sector partners to introduce regulatory improvements to the country’s investment climate.
Supporting Smaller Businesses
IFC is helping improve access to finance in Sierra Leone for individuals and businesses through the Africa MSME Program, the Microfinance Program, the Trade Finance Program, and the Leasing Program.
IFC’s SME Ventures Program is providing risk capital and advisory services to smaller businesses in the country, which are receiving training support through IFC’s Business Edge and SME Toolkit training products. IFC is also helping strengthen Sierra Leone’s financial markets by supporting the establishment of a Credit Bureau and a Collateral Registry.
CASA has also provided advisory support to the National Revenue Authority, which has authorized all major banks to accept tax payments. In the past, taxpayers could pay their taxes only at tax offices, so this innovation is saving taxpayers a considerable amount of time.