Power Generation

AfDB to reach 29.3mn Africans with electricity by 2020

AfDB elecThe African Development Bank (AfDB) is planning to provide electricity to 29.3mn people in Africa by 2020

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OPIC's executive vice president says its financial commitment to Africa will continue

OPICwebpicIn the last 15 years, OPIC's long standing commitment in Africa has grown from US$2bn to US$7bn 

David Bohigian, the executive vice president of Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the US government's development finance institution, said the continent remained a place of investment and opportunity for the Trump administration and business leaders from the both the US and across the world.

Speaking at a press conference on 30 January following a visit to sub-Saharan Africa, where he saw firsthand how OPIC-supported projects in the health, energy and housing sector were impacting societies.

He said, "I work with OPIC, which has been helping emerging markets in developing countries around the world for almost 50 years so that they can have a stability at the societal level, country level and family level. 

"We have a long-standing commitment to Africa and its people. OPIC works across political risk insurance, private equity, project finance and has a global portfolio worth $23bn. About US$7bn of which is in Africa and over US$5bn over the last 15 years.

"We look to operate in markets to help those countries to develop by investing in these markets. We are encouraged by the potential Africa has shown: strong economic growth, amazing demographics, and the reforms being adopted to improve the business climate are helping innovation throughout the continent."

Bohigian led a OPIC delegation to visit an affordable housing project in Ghana, an innovative eye care clinic in Cameroon, which aims to perform 18,000 cataracts to help cure blindness, and a thermal power plant in Togo.

He said, "We met the prime minister of Togo, Komi Sélom Klassou, and the OPIC-supported power plant. This power plant has tripled the amount of power available in Togo. OPIC supported that through financing and offering political risk insurance. The plant has reduced blackouts and has had a multiplier affect across the economy." 

When African Review asked in what way was OPIC going to provide significant investment in Africa's electricity sector to secure the region's economic development over the coming years, he said, "Opic has a long-standing commitment in Africa. Our portfolio has grown from $US2bn to $US7bn in the last 15 years. In 2017 alone, OPIC committed more than US$600mn to Africa across more than 20 projects and supports multiple initiatives from Feed The Future to Power Africa.

"Power Africa is something that we will continue to build on which has been designed to double the access to electricity in SSA. We are looking across a range of all power types including full spectrum energy. As a participant in the president's advisory council of doing business in Africa, this administration and business leaders are also seeing opportunities there. I think OPIC's signal is important that Africa is a place for investment and opportunity, and as people look to growth opportunities in the 21st century, in the countries that I visited such as Ghana, Togo and Cameroon represent that."

David Bohigian was appointed by President Donald Trump as the executive vice president of OPIC and joined the agency in August 2017. Prior to joining OPIC, he served as the managing director of Pluribus Ventures where he advised financial services firms and growth companies. 

 

 

 

 

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