Washington, DC — Fred P. Hochberg, chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), and Admassu Tadesse, president and chief executive of the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (PTA Bank), signed a $100 million memorandum of understanding (MOU) at a conference hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at the GE “Garage” here yesterday.
“Yesterday we reached an agreement to work with members of the sub-Saharan African Diaspora community in America who wish to export U.S. goods and services to their home countries. The agreement aligns with the White House's ‘U.S. Strategy Toward sub-Saharan Africa,' which focuses on growth in the region,” said Chairman Hochberg. “By engaging Diaspora-owned businesses, the arrangement will help U.S. companies capitalize on unique opportunities abroad and support jobs here at home while contributing to the development of sub-Saharan Africa.”
The MOU signing capped a conference titled “Unlocking Growth in Africa: How the Diaspora can Partner with the Public and Private Sectors in the U.S. and Africa” held at the GE-powered “Garage,” a new high-tech experiential showcase where visitors can try out the latest technologies, including 3D printers and laser cutters.
According to the MOU, Ex-Im Bank and PTA Bank will explore options for utilizing up to $100 million in Ex-Im Bank medium- and long-term loan guarantees and/or direct loans to finance U.S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa that target both Diaspora businesses in the U.S. and PTA Bank's member states.
Ex-Im Bank and PTA Bank have joined forces on number of transactions over the last 15 years to boost trade finance and U.S. exports to Africa. In 2011, Ex-Im Bank guaranteed a $60 million loan extended by HSBC to PTA Bank that financed the sale of American aircraft to Rwanda's RwandAir Express.
“PTA Bank has been growing its financing by about 30% per annum, of which close to half has gone into energy and infrastructure, with the renewable sub-sector a beneficiary. In the past two years, we have co-financed several independent power producers in various countries such as Kenya, Mauritius, Tanzania and Uganda, including wind farms and mini-hydros,” Mr. Tadesse said. “We are keen on furthering our financing of infrastructure and power development, and are looking forward to expanded financial cooperation with long-standing partners such as U.S. Exim Bank, among others.”
PTA Bank is a multilateral development bank that provides development capital and services to advance regional growth and integration.
In the past four years, Ex-Im Bank has authorized more than $4 billion in financing for U.S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa. In FY 2013 alone, Ex-Im Bank authorized a record 188 transactions totaling $604 million to facilitate exports to the region. Ex-Im Bank-supported exports accounted for three percent of all U.S. merchandise exports to sub-Saharan Africa during the same timeframe.