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Littlefield on the future of energy in Africa

October 14, 2014

OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield described the momentum behind President Obama’s Power Africa initiative, which she said has generated strong interest among developers who until recently had not considered doing business in Africa. “The world is waking up to the fact that business can be a force for good and has a critical role to play,” Littlefield told Devex
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Featured photo: Illuminating rural villages in India

October 10, 2014

A snack shop owner in a small town near Mangalore, India gets electricity to light the store from a simple pay-as-you-go solar system provided by Simpa Energy India Ltd., a subsidiary of Simpa Networks of Seattle. OPIC recently committed a $3 million loan to Simpa to support the introduction of up to 50,000 new solar systems in rural parts of
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Powering Africa: The on-grid challenge

October 08, 2014

Second in a series looking at OPIC’s work supporting President Obama’s Power Africa Initiative See also: Powering Africa: The off-grid challenge President Obama’s Power Africa initiative has increased awareness of the challenge of extreme energy poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa and in doing so, has also highlighted the need for off-grid power solutions to reach a large share of Africa’s rural
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Improving lives through development: Highlights from OPIC’s Annual Report on Development Impact

September 30, 2014

By Margaret Kuhlow Vice President, OPIC Office of Investment Policy OPIC seeks to support projects that will serve as foundations for sustained economic growth, and the projects we support typically bring far-reaching benefits. A power plant, for example, has the immediate benefit of bringing new electricity to market. But it may also create jobs, generate tax revenue and introduce advanced
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Featured photo: Supporting microfinance lending in sub-Saharan Africa

September 26, 2014

The credit portfolio manager of WAGES, a microfinance institution in Sub-Saharan Africa, speaks to a group of farmers in Togo who have used micro-loans to install micro-irrigation systems to improve crop productivity. OPIC, along with the Calvert Foundation, is providing financing for the launch of a new fund for microfinance institutions that are members of the Participatory Microfinance Group for
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Development, National Security And OPIC: Secretary Kerry Connects the Dots

September 24, 2014

Secretary of State John Kerry offered a sweeping view of the power of global development last week, when he spoke at USAID’s Frontiers in Development conference. Kerry stressed that extreme poverty and other major world development challenges presented challenges not only to “our values and our sense of humanity” but also “to our security,” and that they could best be
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OPIC In New Jersey: A Look At How OPIC Investments Support Multiple Businesses

September 23, 2014

OPIC hosts its final Expanding Horizons workshop of the year September 23 in Trenton, New Jersey, where small businesses will gather to learn more about the benefits of expanding into developing markets overseas. OPIC has been hosting these events around the country for several years, as part of its effort to educate small businesses about the finance and insurance tools
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Featured photo: OPIC meets with community groups near Kenya’s Lake Turkana

September 12, 2014

OPIC’s Office of Investment Policy recently met with community groups at Lake Turkana in Northern Kenya as part of a due diligence review of the Lake Turkana wind power project. During the summer, OPIC’s board approved a $250 million financing commitment to support construction of the 310-megawatt Lake Turkana wind power plant, which will boost Kenya’s installed energy capacity by
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One Big Continent, One Big Summit, Three Big Lessons

September 10, 2014

By Elizabeth Littlefield, OPIC President and CEO This blog post originally appeared on the U.S. State Department’s DipNote blog Just last month, President Obama hosted a spectacular and historic summit in Washington of more than 40 heads of state from Sub-Saharan Africa. Never before had there been such an ambitious American outreach to this enormous continent, a fact all the more
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Powering Africa: The off-grid challenge

September 09, 2014

President Obama’s Power Africa initiative harnesses the power of private sector investment to help the more than 600 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa, who lack access to energy. It’s a staggering number, but also one that does not fully capture the extent of energy poverty on the continent, or the challenge of delivering power to many of the more rural
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