A year into the job, Philippe Le Houérou's vision for IFC 3.0 takes shape

Devex, May 17, 2017
by Sophie Edwards

When asked why he embarked on a career at the World Bank, Philippe Le Houérou explains that it was the experience of attending high school in Ethiopia during the country’s civil war — and witnessing friends being tortured, killed or disappearing — that has motivated his work.

Now heading up the International Finance Corporation, the world’s largest development finance institution dealing with the private sector, Le Houérou sees the organization as a tool to help in parts of the world still riven by the sorts of crises and violence he witnessed as a child.

His lessons learned are being put into practice on a global scale, as Le Houérou tries to reorient the IFC — which in 2016 invested approximately $11.1 billion of its own money and mobilized an additional $42.5 billion from other investors to finance commercial projects in low and middle income countries — towards a new way of doing business; one which can unlock trillions of dollars in private investment for the developing world.

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