OPIC President and CEO Highlights U.S. Investments in Zambia
July 10, 2018
Tours Zambia’s first utility scale solar power facility supported by OPIC financing
LUSAKA, ZAMBIA - Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) President and Chief Executive Officer Ray W. Washburne today traveled to Zambia where he toured Zambia’s first utility scale solar power facility which is being supported by a $13 million OPIC loan and a $26 million loan from the International Finance Corporation to Neoen and Arizona-based First Solar, the joint developers of the project. The project supports the mission of Power Africa. The 54MW photovoltaic power plant will be operated in partnership with the Industrial Development Corporation, the Zambian public investment fund.
“Access to dependable and affordable energy is essential for developing countries to grow and for people to reach their full potential,” said Mr. Washburne. “And, the U.S. private sector is playing an important role in establishing that resource in emerging markets. OPIC looks forward to the project’s continuing construction and bringing online a reliable energy source for thousands of Zambians.”
While in Zambia, Mr. Washburne also met with the Zambian Ministers of Energy and Finance to discuss investment opportunities in the country. His travel on the continent will continue to Rwanda, South Africa, Botswana, Uganda, and Kenya where he will meet with senior government officials and visit OPIC supported projects. OPIC’s global portfolio of investments totals more than $23 billion. About one quarter of those investments are in Africa. Earlier in July, OPIC announced its Connect Africa investment initiative targeting $1 billion for projects that support transportation, communications, and value chains in Africa over the next three years.
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.
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 investment 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.