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OPIC President and CEO Highlights U.S. Investments in Zambia

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

(OPIC)  Tours Zambia’s first utility scale solar power facility supported by OPIC financing

Lusaka, Zambia
- Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) President and Chief Executive Officer Ray W. Washburne today traveled to Zambia where he toured Zambia’s first utility scale solar power facility which is being supported by a $19 million OPIC loan to Arizona-based First Solar.

In recent years, Zambia has been highly dependent on hydropower. However, lower than expected rainfall has led to energy shortages hindering the country’s economic growth. The 54MW photovoltaic power plant will be operated in partnership with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the Zambian public investment fund.

“Access to dependable and affordable energy is essential for developing countries to grow and for people to reach their full potential,” said Mr. Washburne. “And, the U.S. private sector is playing an important role in establishing that resource in emerging markets. OPIC looks forward to the project’s continuing construction and bringing online a reliable energy source for thousands of Zambians.”

While in Zambia, Mr. Washburne also met with Zambian ministers to discuss investment opportunities in the country. His travel on the continent will continue to Rwanda, South Africa, Botswana, Uganda, and Kenya where he will meet with senior government officials and visit OPIC supported projects. OPIC’s global portfolio of investments totals more than $23 billion. About one quarter of those investments are in Africa. Earlier in July, OPIC announced its Connect Africa investment initiative targeting $1 billion for projects that support transportation, communications, and value chains in Africa over the next three years.

As part of his National Security Strategy, President Trump highlighted the need for a modernized approach by the U.S. government to development finance to help grow aspiring partners, promote economic relationships, and increase investment in regions important to American interests.