THE United States government has approved US$2.1 billion worth of investments in five global locations including Africa, to advance development in emerging markets.
The US government’s International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) approved investments this quarter for emerging markets in Africa, Eastern Europe, Indo-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East.
From that threshold, the DFC’s board of directors approved $1.6 billion in investments across six projects, with an additional 16 investments totaling $587 million that were approved by the agency since its board meeting in September.
“The financing approved by DFC will be critical in facilitating private sector investment to increase economic growth in developing countries, especially in continuing to respond to the economic and health impacts from the pandemic,” DFC chief executive officer Adam Boehler said in a statement. “These important investments will strengthen small businesses, support female entrepreneurs, expand telecommunications and increase development in emerging markets.”
Boehler said the meeting included the approval of significant projects to strengthen development while advancing US foreign policy goals.
He said the DFC’s $300 million investment in the Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund aimed to help central and eastern European countries bolster their energy security.
Additionally, the DFC would stand behind the effort to build a trusted telecommunications network in East Africa and enhance internet connectivity across the continent.
Boehler said the DFC recently approved a project to facilitate insurance policies for shipments of vaccines and medical products to developing countries, including vaccines and treatments for COVID-19.
He said to help developing countries withstand the economic impacts of the pandemic, DFC approved a $50 million loan to establish the DFC-MASSIF COVID-19 Response Co-Financing Facility.
Boehler said the first of its kind facility, established in partnership with the Dutch development finance institution FMO, would provide loans for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises in some of the toughest markets facing COVID-19 related liquidity constraints, with a focus on businesses in lower income countries.
DFC also approved two new transactions under DFC’s Rapid Response Liquidity Facility, a $93.8 million loan to Sudameris Bank and a $150 million loan to SA Taxi Impact Fund.
Many of the investments approved this quarter advance DFC’s 2X Women’s Initiative, Portfolio for Impact and Innovation (PI2), Health and Prosperity Initiative, and Connect Africa initiative as well as the administration’s Prosper Africa and América Crece initiatives.
More than 65 per cent of DFC’s capital approved this quarter would be deployed to low and lower-middle income countries, and fragile states.
Investments approved by the Board this quarter include: supporting development of data centers across Africa, with $300 million to be invested in supporting Africa Data Centres’ acquisition and expansion of existing data center assets in South Africa and Kenya.
This financing would also enable entry into new markets through the development, construction and operation of data centers in DFC-eligible African countries, increasing connectivity and supporting economic development.