Gareth Ivorian-Jones - Obituaries - News - The Independent

Gareth Ivorian-Jones

International Finance Corporation lawyer promoting project finance in Africa

Gareth Ivorian-Jones made an important contribution to project-finance activities in developing countries, especially in Africa, during a 30-year career as a lawyer with the International Finance Corporation, the private-sector arm of the World Bank in Washington, DC.



Owain Gareth Gruffydd Ivorian-Jones, lawyer: born Bangor, Caernarvonshire 5 January 1943; attorney, International Finance Corporation 1973-87, principal counsel 1987-99, legal adviser 1999-2003; married 1963 Cynthia Davies (two daughters); died Craigston, Carriacou 28 July 2004.



Gareth Ivorian-Jones made an important contribution to project-finance activities in developing countries, especially in Africa, during a 30-year career as a lawyer with the International Finance Corporation, the private-sector arm of the World Bank in Washington, DC.

In the mid-Seventies, Ivorian-Jones was one of the few foreign experts on doing business in Sudan. He helped put together some of the first, large, private-sector projects there, including an ambitious scheme to assist nomadic cattle-herders by trekking their cattle to Khartoum to be fattened in modern feedlots; and financing the cotton farmers of the vast Gezira irrigation scheme.

In Uganda, during the very investor-unfriendly second Milton Obote regime of the early Eighties, he played a key role in getting the Development Finance Corporation of Uganda up and running. Today, DFCU is a very successful organisation that has supported high growth rates in that country. He also worked on the tea, coffee and sugar industries in Uganda that were rehabilitated once Yoweri Museveni came to power in 1986. In Kenya, he was involved in the growth of the pulp and paper industry of Panafrican Paper.

Gareth Ivorian-Jones was born, in 1943, and grew up in Bangor, North Wales - he was a native Welsh-speaker. In his teens he met Cynthia Davies, who was later to become his wife, and they went to the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, together, where Gareth studied Law. They married in 1963 and, soon after qualifying as a lawyer at the College of Law in Guildford, Gareth Ivorian-Jones showed his adventurous spirit by taking a post in the Attorney-General's office in Kampala, Uganda during the first Obote era. The Ivorian-Joneses' eldest daughter was born there and this helped cement Gareth's love for Africa.

In 1971, because of upheavals in Uganda, the family moved to London, where Ivorian-Jones joined the International Coffee Board. In 1973 he moved to IFC in Washington to begin a 30-year career which took him all over the world in support of IFC's project-finance activities.

In 1995 Ivorian-Jones moved to Zimbabwe as IFC's regional counsel in East and southern Africa and in 2000 moved to IFC's regional headquarters in Johannesburg. During that period he was involved in complex legal issues in Mozambique, Angola, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi as these countries struggled to attract investment. He gained first-hand experience of projects ranging from Kapenta fisheries on the remote Lake Cahora Bassa, to tourist lodges in the Okavango and farming projects in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Gareth Ivorian-Jones's integrity, professionalism and dry humour will be long remembered, not only by his colleagues, but also by the very many people across the face of Africa whose lives have been touched by benefits from the projects with which he was involved.

Philip Condon

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