From Business Daily Africa. Story by By Otiato Guguyu.
America’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), which mobilizes private capital and invests in development projects to advance U.S. foreign policy, is set to open an office in Nairobi, raising the Kenyan capital’s profile as a key hub for investors seeking big-ticket infrastructure deals.
The Nairobi office will serve the East African region.
OPIC has opened two other offices in Africa during President Barack Obama’s administration — in Abidjan, Coted’Ivoire and Johanesburg, South Africa.
“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 U.S. business presence in a fast growing investment environment,” OPIC president Elizabeth Littlefield said.
China and the U.S. will be angling for huge infrastructure projects including the Lamu Port South Sudan and Ethiopia Transport Corridor (Lappset).
The U.S. expressed interest in the Sh2 trillion ($19.7 billion US) project last year during President Obama’s visit for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.
Part of the commercial arrangements signed between the U.S. and Kenya governments include an investment of $9.5 billion in the Lappset corridor and an additional $7.55 billion in the projected value of exports to flow through the same corridor.
OPIC works with the US private sector, helping American businesses gain footholds in emerging markets by providing investors with financing, political risk insurance, and support for private equity funds.
OPIC has already invested in the 310-megawatt project Lake Turkana Wind Power project in northern Kenya though a investment guarantee of up to $250 million.
It also currently has about $700 million of active financing and political risk insurance commitments in Kenya.
OPIC is also engaged in agriculture projects across Africa as well as power generation in Nigeria.
According to the details of U.S.-Kenyan agreements worth up to $11.8 billion signed last year, American businesses will also be keen on an oil pipeline, power plants, urban commuter rail and highways, and various projects in the health and tourism sectors.
Read more at Business Daily Africa.