I know that if you fail 65% of the time you will make it to Cooperstown if you are a batter, but how does one define success when it comes to investment projects?
Well for the IFC (International Finance Corporation) the "private sector financing arm" of the World Bank, its apparently 50% or better. The NY times reports that "World Bank Agency finds its Africa Projects are lagging" with an African "success" rate of only 49% compared to the apparently acceptable 60% success rate in the rest of the world over the past decade.
The IFC has "invested" $4.6 billion in Africa over the last 15 years.
In a great CYA attempt , Toshiya Masuoka, the corporation’s director for strategy, noted in an interview that the evaluation focused on projects that were started five or more years ago and said that the corporation had in recent years given a higher priority to Africa and had clearly signaled to its staff that Africa postings were a good route to career advancement.
“It doesn’t reflect what’s been going on in the past couple of years,” he said. “And there we have a dramatic difference in what we’re doing in Africa.” Mr. Masuoka said better economic growth in Africa had presented the corporation with new opportunities. “The atmosphere is changing,” he said.So in other words, there is another set of unreported, uncollected, statistics that would show everything is great. Ignore the report and trust me!
I personally find it amazing that the 60% rate in the rest of the world is apparently A-OK with the IFC. If 40% of your projects lose money does that really make you a good manager? Would your board and shareholders be keeping you, or would you be golden parachuting your way to an early retirement?
Labels: economic growth