Addis Ababa, Ethiopia — David Bohigian, Acting President and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government's development finance institution, and Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump today announced the launch of OPIC's 2X Africa initiative to support investment in women in Africa. The announcement was made during a U.S. Government delegation to Ethiopia.
Through the initiative, OPIC aims to unlock the full economic potential of women in Africa by catalyzing $1 billion, directly investing $350 million, to businesses and funds owned by women, led by women, or providing a good or service that intentionally empowers women on the continent.
Launched under OPIC's broader 2X Women's Initiative 2X Africa will advance the White House-led Women's Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative a whole-of-government commitment to empowering women globally.
"For women to succeed as entrepreneurs and job creators we must ensure they have equal access to the financing necessary to start and grow their businesses," said Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump. "In furtherance of this goal, it is my honor to announce a new landmark initiative within W-GDP, 2X Africa, to directly invest capital into supporting women-owned, women-led, and women-supporting projects in Sub-Saharan Africa."
"The launch of 2X Africa underscores OPIC's recognition of the critical role that women play in tackling Africa's most pressing development challenges," said OPIC Acting President and CEO David Bohigian. "By strengthening our focus on the women of Africa, OPIC will foster prosperity and stability in the region, and support the Administration's important efforts to advance global women's economic empowerment through W-GDP."
OPIC's 2X Women's Initiative aims to harness the multi-trillion dollar opportunity women represent by catalyzing investment in projects that support the world's women. One year since the launch of the initiative, OPIC in March announced that it had surpassed the initiative's initial target to mobilize $1 billion to the world's women.
Yesterday while in Addis Ababa, Bohigian signed an letter of interest with a women owned business called Muya to help support the company through OPIC financing. Muya, founded in 2005 by female entrepreneurial fashion designer Sara Abera, produces high quality household products. The company is the first Ethiopian company to obtain membership in the World Fair Trade Organization.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is a self-sustaining U.S. Government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets. Established in 1971, OPIC provides businesses with the tools to manage the risks associated with foreign direct investment, fosters economic development in emerging market countries, and advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. OPIC helps American businesses gain footholds in new markets, catalyzes new revenues and contributes to jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC fulfills its mission by providing businesses with financing, political risk insurance, advocacy and by partnering with private equity investment fund managers.
OPIC services are available to new and expanding businesses planning to invest in more than 160 countries worldwide. Because OPIC charges market-based fees for its products, it operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to taxpayers. All OPIC projects must adhere to best international practices and cannot cause job loss in the United States.