OPIC opens its first East Africa office

Westrock07082016The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the US government’s development finance institution, has announced the opening of its first-ever East Africa office, located in Nairobi, Kenya, with Suresh Samuel as managing director

The opening comes at a time where the East African region is experiencing strong growth and the need for investment in power, infrastructure, water, agriculture, and other development sectors is growing.

Elizabeth L. Littlefield, OPIC President and CEO, said, “I am thrilled to announce that we are opening a third office in Africa to increase OPIC’s regional presence.” 

“This office will cultivate a strong US business presence in a fast-growing investment environment. OPIC’s Kenya regional office is the start of an important chapter for this Agency and for lasting development throughout East Africa.” 

Previously based in Washington, DC in OPIC’s Structured Finance group, Suresh Samuel, has now been appointed as managing director of the Kenya office and will be responsible for managing business development activities for project and corporate finance, political risk insurance and private equity investments.

In his last position he was responsible for executing debt investments in emerging markets with a focus on large-scale project and corporate financings. His experience includes projects in the energy sector - solar, wind and gas - and in the telecommunications, financial institution and agribusiness sectors in Africa, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

OPIC began supporting private investment in Kenya in 1974. Since then, the organisation has provided US$845mn in finance and political risk insurance support for investments in 52 projects in Kenya.

OPIC currently has about US$700mn of active financing and political risk insurance commitments in Kenya.

Recent projects include wind power in Kenya, agriculture across sub-Saharan Africa, and power generation in Nigeria.

The opening of this office in Nairobi signals both OPIC’s commitment to continue catalyzing investment in this critical region and a recognition of the increasing private sector interest in East Africa as an exciting destination for investment opportunities in emerging markets.

OPIC’s other offices in Africa include offices in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, and an office in Johannesburg, South Africa.

OPIC has been active in Africa since 1972 and has supported more than US$11.7bn of investments in more than 500 projects.

OPIC’s portfolio has grown by 250 per cent since 2009, with more than US$6.2bn invested across the continent and US$5bn of that invested in sub-Saharan Africa.

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