OPIC President and CEO Meets with President Kenyatta, Highlights Support for Several Development Projects in the Country
August 27, 2018
Projects range from energy to agriculture value chain to affordable housing
Washington, D.C. – Ray W. Washburne, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, today joined U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to highlight OPIC support for several investment projects in Kenya during the president’s official visit to the United States.
The projects support a range of sectors from affordable housing to reliable energy to OPIC’s Connect Africa initiative aimed at improving connectivity in Africa by investing $1 billion in physical infrastructure, technology, and value chains.
Specifically, agreements were signed with:
- Twiga Foods for $5 million in financing which will enable the company to expand its produce distribution business and improve food security in Kenya.
- Actis LLP/Kipeto Energy to provide $233 million in financing for the construction and operation of a 100-megawatt wind power plant south of Nairobi, adding a reliable source of energy to the national grid and supports the misson of Power Africa.
- Acorn Housing, a Kenyan company backed by Helios Investment Partners, providing a $50 million loan for the development, construction, and operation of up to 5,200 affordable apartment units for students in Kenya.
“By addressing some of the country’s most pressing development needs from power to transportation infrastructure, these projects will be hugely impactful engines of economic growth and regional stability throughout Kenya,” said Washburne. “OPIC is proud of its work in Kenya and today’s actions highlight its continued commitment to supporting private sector investment and advancing development in the country.”
Mr. Washburne recently returned from a six country visit to the continent where he met with heads of state, visited OPIC-supported projects, and unveiled the agency’s new Connect Africa investment initiative. 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.
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.