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Powering Africa: A massive challenge and a major investment opportunity

July 26, 2013

Sub-Saharan Africa has seen significant economic progress in recent years with growth rates in many countries that are among the highest in the world, and large numbers of once poor people joining the middle class. But this recent progress sits against a backdrop of major ongoing developmental challenges, many of them related to access to electricity. Because it is essential
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OPIC to play key role in President Obama’s Power Africa initiative

July 02, 2013

OPIC, which has a long history of supporting projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, will now play a key role in a new U.S. initiative to double access to electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa. The region has in recent years seen strong economic growth and an expanding consumer class, but limited power remains a major problem, with more than two-thirds of the population
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Africa Day: Reflecting on progress and investing for the future

May 24, 2013

May 25 is Africa Day, which recognizes the founding of the African Union in 1963. This year, the 50th anniversary of African unity provides an opportunity to highlight the great progress the continent has made, and encourages a look toward the future. By almost all accounts, the future is bright. One commonly-cited statistic is that seven of the 10 fastest
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World Health Day highlights need for better health care in developing countries

April 05, 2013

April 7th is designated as World Health Day each year by the World Health Organization (WHO) to commemorate that agency’s founding. In conjunction with this, WHO annually highlights a theme that has a significant global health impact and often focuses on issues – such as access to clean water – that are particularly relevant to the developing world. This year,
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Improving health care in Africa, one clinic at a time

April 04, 2013

In Sub-Saharan Africa, access to healthcare is limited, the quality of care is often poor, and the need is great. The continent carries a disproportionate share of the global burden of many diseases from HIV/AIDS to high blood pressure, and this disease load is exacerbated by widespread poverty, food insecurity and poor sanitation. In this challenging environment, where public funding
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Featured photo: Supporting small businesses in Africa

February 08, 2013

In Nairobi, Kenya, Equity Bank CEO Dr. James Mwangi (center) introduces OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield to Equity Bank agent Maureen Wambugu (right). One of the bank’s community branches is surrounded by several local businesses, including a second hand shoe trader, whose owner used an Equity Bank micro loan to expand his business. OPIC is providing $8.45 million in
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Meeting the global unemployment challenge

January 31, 2013

A report earlier this month from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) offered some staggering measures of worldwide unemployment. IFC said there are currently 200 million people unemployed around the world – a number roughly equivalent to the population of Brazil — and that the developing world will need to create some 600 million new jobs by the year 2020, just
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OPIC’s profit per employee totals $1.2 million in 2012

December 14, 2012

Earlier this week, OPIC reported strong financial results for Fiscal Year 2012, including net income of $272 million, and a 30 percent increase in financial commitments to American businesses investing in emerging markets abroad. The fact that these results were achieved with a full-time staff of just 220 underscores the efficiency of OPIC’s operation. The agency’s profit-per-employee in 2012 worked
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OPIC, Ex-Im Bank and USTDA Partner to increase clean energy investment in Africa

November 30, 2012

OPIC is partnering with two other U.S. government agencies to help promote U.S. private sector investment in clean energy projects in Africa through the Africa Clean Energy Development and Finance Center (CEDFC).  Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank this week launched the CEDFC, an interagency partnership of OPIC, the U.S. Export-Import Bank and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA)
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Supporting the development of the next generation of African leaders

November 14, 2012

Africa’s labor force will be larger than China’s by 2035, according to statistics recently released by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. By the end of the century, 41 percent of the world’s youth live in African. The Mo Ibrahim Foundation, which invests in governance and leadership to catalyze Africa’s transformation, has also released some other, less optimistic numbers about the continent,
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