U.S Government Highlights Developmental Projects in Africa | Independent Newspapers Limited
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U.S Government Highlights Developmental Projects in Africa

Posted: Jun 8, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Phillip Oladunjoye,  Lagos

Representatives of the U.S. Government Delegation to the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town, South Africa, have highlighted some of the projects the U.S government is carrying out in Africa to support the development of sustainable infrastructure across the continent, the growth and vitality of Africa as an investment destination, financing for development, and the post-2015 development agenda.

In a telephonic media briefing moderated by the Director of the Africa Regional Media Hub, Ms. Camille Dawson, journalists from different countries engaged five speakers who were part of the U.S. Delegation to the World Economic Forum in South Africa.

The President and CEO, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Elizabeth Littlefield, said the volume of business that the corporation is doing in Africa on an annual basis has grown five-fold under the Obama administration.

Director, U.S. Trade and Development Agency, Leocadia Zak, said the agency is working to provide environments that could lead to greater security in Nigeria.

“Nigeria is an area where USTDA has been very active, including in the power arena, and there, we have been working very frequently with the private sector, and also with a number of projects that were recently privatized.  Energy clearly is a priority, and it is an area where both local private sector, as well as international private sector, is very interested.

“We have been helping to do some of the project planning.  We have also been helping with respect to the new distribution companies that have been privatized, and hoping to be able to reduce losses of electricity, which we think then will provide more reliable energy on a regular basis, and hopefully at a lower cost at the same time.  So it’s clearly an area that we’re interested in, and the private sector in both countries plays a very important role,” he said.

On how the U.S. government is helping to boost private capital to support the development of sustainable infrastructure in Nigeria, Zak said the agency catalyzes the private sector by doing project planning, which allows projects to be able to become bankable, and to be able to move forward to financing.

Also, on efforts to develop power projects in Nigeria, Coordinator for Trade Africa and Power Africa, Andy Herscowitz, said the organisation is working to ensure that the transformation agenda in the gas sub-sector is sustained.