U.S. Lending To Sub-Saharan Africa – New Trade Stimulus Direction

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In light of all of the horrific news concerning the ebola virus and some of the Humanitarian issues which have raised eyebrows throughout the U.S. and numerous other nations, it appears that the United States through EX-IM Bank is acknowledging the vast market potential that exists in Sub-Saharan Africa, a geographical locus of increasing Human Capital and slowly, but steadily growing consumerism. This is encouraging.

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Ex-Im Bank Approves Record $1.7 Billion in Financing of U.S. Exports to Sub-Saharan Africa

$3 Billion in Financing Support Pledged for U.S. Exports Over the Next 2 Years

Washington, D.C. – The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) announced today that it has authorized a record $1.7 billion in financing to support U.S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa over the past 10 months. This record-setting surge has not only empowered U.S. small businesses to sell their products in global markets, but has also supported more than 10,000 American jobs which contribute to strengthening the U.S. economy.

The announcement was made as Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg participated in the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit convened by President Barack Obama this week in Washington D.C. The summit has drawn about 50 heads of state, ministers, and business leaders from across the African continent.

“Ex-Im Bank is firmly committed to equipping U.S. exporters to realize the vast economic opportunities emerging throughout sub-Saharan Africa, which is home to seven out of 10 of the world’s fastest-growing markets,” said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. “Each transaction the Bank supports creates jobs for local U.S. businesses and strengthens our relationship with a region that has a strong prospect for long-term economic growth.”

Ex-Im also announced that it will pledge $3 billion in financing to support U.S exports to sub-Saharan Africa over the next two fiscal years. The Bank also recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Angola to strengthen collaboration on the financing of American-made exports to Angola.

Recent Ex-Im Bank success stories in sub-Saharan Africa:

Ex-Im approved a loan guarantee for $17 million to support long-term financing by the West African Development Bank (BOAD) for the Azito Power project in Cote D’Ivoire. Two-thirds of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa lacks electricity; by strengthening their power capacity, however, their economies will be well-positioned for growth. Financing for steam turbines used in the Azito Power project will support 40 manufacturing and engineering jobs in Schenectady, New York, and Bangor, Maine.

Three Louisana small businesses benefit from Ex-Im’s $43 million financing of a liftboat destined for Nigeria. The “Bellator” liftboat is a self-propelled vessel, 150-foot long by 118-foot wide, that lifts and suspends equipment and personnel up to the level of an offshore drilling platform. About 300 employees of C.S. Liftboats, Inc., of Abbeville, Louisiana, together with Gulf Island Fabrications of Houma, Louisiana, will construct the high-tech vessel. The Nigerian buyer also contracted for prefabricated liftboat-mounted modules for housing workers; these are built by Fiberglass Unlimited Inc. of Raceland, Louisiana. This is Nigeria’s first purchase of a new, American-made liftboat system.

Pennsylvania employees of GE Transportation will benefit from the Bank-supported export of GE’s locomotives with Pennsylvania-made engines and components to Transnet in South Africa. In its recent transaction, Ex-Im Bank authorized a $563.5 million loan guarantee to support financing for the sale of 293 locomotives being manufactured by GE Transportation, which will support an estimated 2,500 U.S. jobs.

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Douglas E. Castle


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