Expanding our work in Africa: OPIC joins world leaders at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum
OPIC joined leaders from the public and private sectors in New York City last week at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum; a day focused on trade and investment opportunities on the continent for African heads of government and American business leaders. The Forum was hosted on the occasion of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly.
OPIC highlighted new agency commitments to Africa at the forum including:
- A commitment to ContourGlobal for an additional $53 million in financing and $23 million in insurance, supporting the 33 megawatt expansion of the Cap des Biches power plant in Senegal. The project will provide efficient and reliable electricity to the Senegalese grid by adding a total of 85.9 megawatt generation capacity.
- A commitment to Lekela Power supporting a 158 megawatt wind farm in Taiba N’Diaye, Senegal which includes $250 million in OPIC financing and $70 million in reinsurance to Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye.
- A commitment with Microsoft for financing to Mawingu Networks, a provider of solar-powered wireless Internet across rural Kenya. Using a network of solar-powered “nomadic” wireless Internet stations, Mawingu is providing last-mile connectivity access to areas that cannot economically access the Internet.
- A letter of interest to the Government of Kenya to begin discussions on the Nairobi-Mombasa Expressway Project, in coordination with engineering firm Bechtel. The Nairobi-Mombasa Expressway Project is critical to enhancing the strategic transportation infrastructure –along a major corridor of national and regional commerce in Kenya.
- A $333 million facility with Standard Bank and Wells Fargo to support power and infrastructure projects in Africa. Financing will provide at least $150 million in support of power transactions as part of the Power Africa initiative, with up to $100 million available for other strategic infrastructure projects beyond the power sector.
- Bolstering the agency’s presence in the region, OPIC announced a new regional office in Nairobi, Kenya which marks OPIC’s third office opening in Africa, including Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire and Johannesburg, South Africa.
- Continued support for Power Africa, including OPIC committed infrastructure projects, power plants, and off-grid solutions.
- The White House fact sheet on U.S.-Africa Cooperation on Trade and Investment Under the Obama Administration detailed how the U.S. has expanded its presence and economic engagement in Africa, including OPIC which has tripled its portfolio in Africa since 2009. OPIC’s investments in Africa now represent nearly a third of our total portfolio in sectors like clean energy, telecom, healthcare, education, and microfinance.
At the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, President Barack Obama spoke about the importance of doing business in Africa, while mentioning OPIC’s increasing focus on Africa at the 6:42 mark, and our partnership with Microsoft and Mawingu at 8:21.
You can watch his speech in its entirety here.
In a piece featured on Medium, Elizabeth L. Littlefield wrote about why, despite multiple challenges, she is optimistic about Africa’s future.