To boost access to cleaner and more reliable cooking fuel in Cameroon, especially for the country’s underserved rural households, IFC on Thursday announced a partnership with BOCOM Petroleum SA (BOCOM), a leading Cameroonian importer and distributor of petroleum products.
Under the partnership, IFC will help BOCOM expand access to liquified petroleum gas (LPG) in Cameroon, helping displace the use of dirtier fuels including kerosene, charcoal, firewood, and sawdust that drive deforestation and affect household air quality.
IFC will provide BOCOM with a €50 million financing package consisting of a loan of up to €25 million from IFC’s own account, a €15 million concessional loan from the International Development Association Private Sector Window Blended Finance Facility (IDA-PSW BFF), and a parallel loan of up to €10 million which is expected to be mobilized from a leading development finance institution.
The financing will allow BOCOM to grow its activities across Cameroon, including by expanding its main LPG storage and filling center, developing new distribution regional hubs, and purchasing trucks to transport LPG cylinders. IFC’s support will help create 160 new direct formal jobs.
Currently, the vast majority of rural homes in Cameroon lack access to LPG, which is growing in popularity across Africa because of its reliability and effectiveness. It is the cleanest available option for households, with drastically reduced smoke and emissions.
“We are honored to access IFCs’ funding that will greatly boost our expansion towards sustainable development over generations” said Mr. Bougne, Executive Chairman of BOCOM Petroleum.
“We are proud to partner with BOCOM to foster access to cleaner and safer fuel, while supporting Cameroon’s energy transition,” said Sylvain Kakou, IFC’s Country Manager for Cameroon. “Our partnership will also help promote economic inclusion in regions of the country where private sector investment has been lagging for years, helping create jobs and boost the local economy.”
IFC will also provide advisory services to help BOCOM better reach underserved markets and build a sustainable and inclusive gender strategy within its organization.
IFC’s strategy in Cameroon focuses on supporting renewable energy, agribusiness, manufacturing, and access to finance for SMEs.