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OPIC President and CEO Highlights American Investments in Botswana


July 18, 2018

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Gabarone, Botswana - Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) President and Chief Executive Officer Ray W. Washburne today visited Botswana, where he met with local banks to discuss investment opportunities to advance development in the country, and visited OPIC-supported projects.

Among the projects Washburne visited was an OPIC-supported diamond cutting and polishing facility that has promoted local job creation and diversified economic growth by bringing more value-added parts of the diamond industry into the country. Historically, diamonds mined in Botswana and elsewhere were sorted, marketed and manufactured in other countries.

“This project is a great example of building a strong value chain that will help a key African industry more fully participate in the global economy,” said Washburne. “Africa needs more investment to continue to build strong value chains.”

Washburne is traveling to Africa to explore investment opportunities and to highlight OPIC's new Connect Africa initiative to invest more than $1 billion in transportation, technology and value chains on the continent. Washburne has visited Zambia, Rwanda, and South Africa and will continue on to Uganda and Kenya where he will meet with senior government officials and visit additional OPIC supported projects.

Africa is a longstanding priority for OPIC and accounts for about one-quarter of the agency's $23 billion global portfolio.

As part of his National Security Strategy, President Trump highlighted the need for a modernized approach by the U.S. government to development finance to help grow aspiring partners, promote economic relationships, and increase investment in regions important to American interests.

Learn more about OPIC's Connect Africa Initiative

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The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is a self-sustaining U.S. Government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets. Established in 1971, OPIC provides businesses with the tools to manage the risks associated with foreign direct investment, fosters economic development in emerging market countries, and advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. OPIC helps American businesses gain footholds in new markets, catalyzes new revenues and contributes to jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC fulfills its mission by providing businesses with financing, political risk insurance, advocacy and by partnering with private equity fund managers.

OPIC services are available to new and expanding businesses planning to invest in more than 160 countries worldwide. Because OPIC charges market-based fees for its products, it operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to taxpayers. All OPIC projects must adhere to best international practices and cannot cause job loss in the United States.