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US avoids Nigeria in W’African tour to assess impacts of private investments

Top officials of United States agency, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), are now in three West African countries including Ghana, Togo and Cameroon to see the impact of the agency projects so far.

OPIC helps US businesses to study and invest in developing and emerging markets around the world.

Leaders of the assessment delegation include David Bohigian, the Executive Vice President of OPIC and Edward Burrier, Vice President of External Affairs of the Agency.

A statement issued by the Public Affairs Department of the United States Embassy in Accra, said OPIC was playing a significant role in Ghana’s economic development through the $1.3 billion of exposure to support a wide range of projects in the healthcare, housing, education, and energy sectors.

According to the statement, “With one-third of OPIC’s active portfolio now focused on the African continent (totaling $7.3 billion), Ghana ranks number one on OPIC’s current country exposure list for Africa, representing more than $1.3 billion in various investment finance, political risk insurance, and investment fund support.

“OPIC committed $400 million in financing and political risk insurance for the Amandi 200 megawatt (MW) combined cycle gas turbine power plant in Ghana’s Western Region,” the statement said.

“This U.S. Power Africa-supported project was the only Power Africa Project to reach financial close in 2016, thanks to OPIC’s support. Over the years, OPIC has also supported Ghana’s healthcare sector through a $250 million project to rehabilitate medical clinics and hospitals throughout the nation, including Korle-Bu.

“OPIC also provided $60 million in support to Ghana Home Loans to help make mortgages available to Ghanaian families seeking affordable housing. These are just a few of the projects OPIC has supported in Ghana in recent years”.

In an analysis on Investing in Africa’s next stage of growth’s,Burrier revealed that “We’ve long recognized the potential of Africa and its people,” stressing that “Our portfolio in Africa has grown from about $1 billion in 2002 to $7 billion today”.

“When I travel with a team from OPIC to Ghana and West Africa this week, I’ll see the impact that investment has had, from Cameroon — where a new hospital is providing sight-saving surgery to thousands — to Togo, where a major power plant tripled electricity generation capacity. Here in Ghana, OPIC has supported investment in many sectors, from a sweeping project to introduce more advanced healthcare equipment, to a major power plant, to a mortgage company that helped simplify land registry, enabling more people to purchase homes.

“These projects are all a testament to the local governments that have committed to adopting reforms to attract more investors, as well as the people of Africa, who comprise a large and growing population that are recognized around the world as a powerful force.

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