The New Dawn (Monrovia)

Liberia: U.S.-Opic Head Visits Liberia

U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) President and CEO Elizabeth L. Littlefield is begins a two- day visit to Liberia today (December 6-7), to discuss ways the U.S. can continue to support private sector investment in the country.

As the U.S. government's development finance institution, OPIC's portfolio in Sub-Saharan Africa is nearly $4 billion across a range of industries including power and renewable energy, housing and construction, tourism, agriculture and food security, and financial services. OPIC is also playing a key role in the U.S. Power Africa initiative aimed at doubling access to electricity on the continent.

Littlefield is traveling with a delegation that is meeting with Liberian government officials, U.S. and Liberian business leaders, and Liberian students. The delegation will also tour projects that OPIC has supported that have advanced development and economic growth and created jobs.

"It is a pleasure to get back to Africa and see firsthand all the growth that continues to take place," said Littlefield. "OPIC is committed to helping African countries attract private sector investment that can help transform the vast promise of this continent into reality."

In her discussions with political and business leaders, Littlefield hopes to learn more about Liberia's investment climate and the opportunities for U.S. investors to partner with local businesses. OPIC is interested in supporting investors in on a variety of sectors, including energy, agriculture and access to credit, which are all critical to long-term economic growth.

As part of the Power Africa initiative that U.S. President Obama announced in July, OPIC will commit up to $1.5 billion in financing and insurance to energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa.

Power Africa partner countries like Liberia have set ambitious goals in electric power generation and are making the utility and energy sector reforms to pave the way for investment and growth.

In support of President Obama's Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), the OPIC delegation will meet with Booker Washington Institute students to visit the Liberia Center for Biomass Energy. The delegation will also visit the OPIC-backed Broad Cove Ecohomes project, which is building affordable, sustainable housing just outside of Monrovia.

"OPIC's history and projects in Liberia show how private capital can be a force for good, supporting business and job creation and advancing development that helps to improve the lives of ordinary citizens," Littlefield said. In Liberia, OPIC has committed $346.9 million in finance and insurance to 27 projects over the past four decades.

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