Announces new efforts aimed at bolstering agency’s reach across continent
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and the Atlantic Council hosted the virtual Investing in Africa’s Future conference to bring together African heads of state, senior U.S. government officials, African development finance institutions and others to announce new efforts to promote and strengthen U.S. trade and investment in Africa, in support of the Administration’s Prosper Africa Initiative.
“We are pleased to convene leaders from across the public and private sectors to increase investment in Africa,” said DFC Chief Executive Officer Adam Boehler. “The initiatives announced today will help advance investments that strengthen economic growth, technology, energy independence, and infrastructure in Africa.”
During the conference, Boehler provided remarks along with President of the Republic of Senegal Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Mozambique Filipe Nyusi, Former President of the Republic of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and UN Under Secretary-General and Executive Secretary for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Vera Songwe.
The conference also included remarks from Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Robert O'Brien, Acting Administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) John Barsa, Millennium Challenge Corporation Chief Executive Officer Sean Cairncross, President & Chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States Kimberly Reed, Head of Agency for the U.S. Trade and Development Agency Todd Abrajano, and others.
DFC made the following announcements during the summit:
- New Prosper Africa Investment Unit:To underscore DFC’s commitment to financing more transactions in sub-Saharan Africa, DFC announced it is establishing a dedicated DC-based Prosper Africa investment unit to source, underwrite and execute transactions in support of the Initiative’s goal of substantially increasing two-way trade and investment between the United States and Africa. The investment unit will be established with support from the Prosper Africa Secretariat and will help DFC grow its portfolio of commitments in Africa, which currently stands at over $8 billion. This investment unit will serve as an integral complement to DFC’s Africa Investment Advisor Program on the continent. Boehler serves as the Executive Chair for Prosper Africa.
- The TIES program: DFC and the U.S. Africa Development Foundation (USADF) launched the U.S.-African TIES program—a partnership to promote investments in technology, innovation, and entrepreneurial solutions in African countries. The program combines DFC’s powerful financing tools with USADF’s on the ground presence in key countries. DFC and USADF will work together to provide loans between $50,000 and $500,000, accompanied by grants between $10,000 and $100,000 to African entrepreneurs whose projects advance innovation, technology or entrepreneurship. The TIES program will initially seek to support 10-20 transactions per year and advance DFC’s new development strategy.
- Collaboration with African Development Finance Institutions: DFC also announced it will join three African development finance institutions, Africa50, Africa Finance Corporation, and the East and Southern Africa Trade and Development Bank, to work collaboratively to support economic resilience and recovery across Africa in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The DFIs intend to work together in areas of mutual interest on a non-exclusive basis to support projects in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in lower income and lower-middle income countries, subject to each DFI‘s respective internal policies and procedures.
- LOI for Nuclear in South Africa: In July 2020, DFC updated and modernized its nuclear energy policy—ending its prohibition on supporting nuclear power in order to help meet the energy needs in the developing world. DFC signed a Letter of Intent to support NuScale, a U.S. nuclear energy technology firm, to develop 2,500 MW of nuclear energy in South Africa. If successful, NuScale would be the first U.S. nuclear energy IPP on the continent and would help support energy resilience and security in one of Africa’s leading economies and a key partner on the continent for the United States Government.
- A digital Call for Proposals to Support COVID-19 response: DFC launched a partnership with Asoko Insight, a deal sourcing and market intelligence platform focused on Africa. Under this partnership, Asoko has built a “digital deal room” that serves as a virtual call for proposals for DFC financing. The potential deals must support economic recovery or resilience in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit the dealroom.
- Financing for the Africa Finance Corporation:During the event, participants highlighted DFC’s recent approval of a $250 million tier-2 capital loan for the Africa Finance Corporation, a regional development finance institution that finances critical infrastructure and is an existing DFC client. The deal will support COVID response and recovery by providing liquidity to help combat the economic slowdown in Africa in the wake of the pandemic.
U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is America’s development bank. DFC partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today. We invest across sectors including energy, healthcare, critical infrastructure, and technology. DFC also provides financing for small businesses and women entrepreneurs in order to create jobs in emerging markets. DFC investments adhere to high standards and respect the environment, human rights, and worker rights.