Special Feature
August 8, 2014
Anna Humphrey | (703) 875-4357


USTDA's Work Highlighted during U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit
USTDA's Work Highlighted during U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Trade and Development Agency's work across sub-Saharan Africa was highlighted throughout this week's U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC. As Vice President Joe Biden noted in his remarks at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, USTDA has funded over 100 infrastructure development activities, which are expected to generate over $1 billion in U.S. exports, in sub-Saharan Africa since 2009.

During the Business Forum, Secretary John Kerry announced the U.S. State Department's intention to invest an additional $10 million in the U.S.-Africa Clean Energy Finance (U.S.-ACEF) initiative. The initiative brings USTDA's project planning expertise together with the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation's (OPIC) financing and risk mitigation skills to increase support for U.S. businesses and exports in sub-Saharan Africa's clean energy sector. Since September 2013, USTDA has supported seven U.S.-ACEF activities that are supporting the development of over 330 megawatts (MW) of new generation and seeking to leverage $1.35 billion in financing.

After Secretary Kerry's announcement, USTDA signed a grant agreement for a U.S.-ACEF project with Amahoro Energy, a Rwandan company formed to electrify the Shyira Hospital in the country's Northern Province and provide reliable energy to the local population. Knight Piésold and Co. (Lisle, IL), the contractor for the project, will evaluate Amahoro's plans to develop a 5 MW greenfield run-of-the-river hydroelectric plant and upgrade five existing small hydro power sites. This effort, which will be completed in two phases, will bring an estimated 12 MW of new generation online.

USTDA and the U.S. Department of Commerce launched the 20x20 Initiative to support a total of 20 reverse trade missions and trade missions by 2020, in order to promote U.S. industry engagement in Africa. USTDA will also partner with its U.S. government colleagues on the Mobilizing Private Capital for Africa's Infrastructure Initiative, a series of outcome-oriented roundtables in Africa that will advance project- and sector-specific investment opportunities and needed regulatory reforms. The Agency also reaffirmed its commitment to placing a USTDA representative in West Africa for the first time later this year.

In the lead-up to the Summit, USTDA and its partners from the U.S. Departments of Transportation and Energy hosted African Leaders Visits for Ministers from seven of Africa's fastest-growing economies. The African leaders toured major infrastructure sites in Chicago, IL and Houston, TX, where they also met with U.S. transportation and energy experts. The Ministers briefed U.S. industry on their plans to upgrade and expand the infrastructure in their countries, and expressed a strong desire for commercial partnerships with the United States. As the only events to take African leaders outside of Washington, DC ahead of the Summit, the African Leaders Visits identified opportunities to work together in building sustainable infrastructure that will strengthen engagement between the U.S. and Africa for years to come.

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The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies. USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project planning activities, pilot projects, and reverse trade missions while creating sustainable infrastructure and economic growth in partner countries.

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