October 26, 2012
OPIC President & CEO Elizabeth Littlefield, Equity Bank founder James Mwangi (far left) and other bank representatives visit a branch in Nairobi, Kenya, to learn more about improving financial inclusion through microfinance and mobile banking technologies. The OPIC-supported Helios Sub-Saharan Africa Fund invested in Equity Bank, which has operations throughout East Africa.
October 23, 2012
Financial inclusion – the access to basic financial services like savings accounts and credit – can be essential to individuals trying to lift themselves out of poverty. Financial inclusion provides an opportunity to invest in a business, a home or an education. Rates of financial inclusion are low throughout much of the developing world, but particularly low in Sub-Saharan Africa.
September 05, 2012
Late last month, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) reported that farmers in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are increasing the use of small-scale irrigation schemes as a result of drought that puts the security of food supplies at risk. The three-year study found that, rather than wait for rainfall, smallholder farmers, whose farms supply food for individual families, are
August 09, 2012
Sunday, August 12 is International Youth Day, an annual observance supported by the United Nations (UN) calling attention to youth issues worldwide. In both developing and developed countries, young people face pressing global challenges, such as high levels of unemployment and subpar working conditions. They are seemingly left out while their leaders make decisions on their future. The UN provides
August 03, 2012
Members of the Kifaru Youth Group, a microfinance loan group based in the Nairobi suburb of Kawangware, meets in June to update their finances. The group is supported with microloans from Equity Bank’s Kawangware branch, which opened in 2007 and has since seen its customer base grow from 5000 members to 80,000. “Kawangware is a slum that is becoming a
July 31, 2012
In your experience, what is it that people find most interesting about OPIC’s work and what do they find most surprising? It varies by audience, of course, but in general OPIC’s project success stories are what people are most interested in. People like to hear how two college friends who traveled through Brazil came up with the idea to introduce
July 27, 2012
OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield told Congress on Wednesday July 25 that Africa presented extensive investment and development opportunities but that U.S. businesses remain underrepresented on the continent. During the panel discussion, Embracing Africa’s Market Potential, before the Africa Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Littlefield described how OPIC supports long-term U.S. investments in Africa through political risk insurance,
July 17, 2012
At a time that the U.S. economy is tied more closely than ever to the world economy and some of the strongest economic growth is occurring in developing countries, American businesses are underrepresented in many of these high-growth regions, OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield said. Littlefield, who spoke on Tuesday, July 17 at the Women in Finance symposium at
June 11, 2012
OPIC’s 2011 annual report takes a look back at the agency’s first 40 years and highlights some lending programs from the 1970s that delivered loans – sometimes in amounts less than $1,000 – to individuals and small businesses in developing countries. Decades before microfinance became widely recognized as an effective tool for supplying small loans to individuals and small businesses, OPIC was
June 01, 2012
Sub-Saharan Africa has long been one of OPIC’s priority regions and is offering some of the highest investment returns of any emerging market in the world. For more scenes of village life in Rwanda, please visit us on Facebook.