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OPIC CEO Visits Liberia and Sierra Leone to Drive Post-Ebola Investment

July 29, 2016

OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield leads group of American and international executives to explore opportunities for private sector investment to support recovery

WASHINGTON – Elizabeth L. Littlefield, the President and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, traveled to West Africa to lead a delegation of American and international executives to meet with government officials and business leaders and identify investment opportunities in the region as it continues to rebound after the Ebola crisis and collapse in commodity prices.

The five day trip included meetings with the President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the President of Sierra Leone Earnest Koroma, the U.S. Ambassador to Liberia Christine Elder, the U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone John Hoover, and a host of ministers and investors.

“I am so pleased to visit this region and showcase the development and investment mission that OPIC and our sister U.S. Government agencies have in Africa,” said OPIC President and Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth L. Littlefield.  “OPIC bridges connections with the private sector to bring development impact and increase the dynamic investment environment in emerging markets in Africa.”

During the trip OPIC signed a commitment letter for a $20 million loan to International Bank Liberia Limited (IBLL) for creation of a loan facility that will expand local banking services to support lending to local manufacturing, construction, services, agribusiness, hospitality, and transportation. This lending will support macroeconomic growth and poverty reduction, and connect Liberia with the global financial system.

In Liberia and Sierra Leone, the delegation visited a range of projects focused on different economic growth sectors.  They also provided feedback on approaches and policies that could be applied in-country to accelerate investment. The trip demonstrates OPIC’s long-standing and continuing commitment to increasing awareness for private investors of the opportunities for investment in this critical region.

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OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help address critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets, catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds, when commercial funding cannot be obtained elsewhere. Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers.

All OPIC projects adhere to high environmental and social standards and respect human rights, including worker's rights. By mandating high standards, OPIC aims to raise the industry and regional standards of the countries where it funds projects. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 160 countries worldwide.