Industryweek 2688 Hochbergfred

Ex-Im Bank: U.S. Firms Waking Up to African Investment

Aug. 8, 2012
Potential sectors of investment include energy, aircraft, mining, medical and small businesses, says Chairman Hochberg.

American companies are starting to wake up to huge investment opportunities in Africa, the chairman of the U.S. Export-Import bank, Fred Hochberg said Wednesday.

Hochberg, in South Africa as part of a business delegation alongside U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said more U.S. companies must invest in the "rich and deep market" in Africa.

"Many U.S. companies didn't see the need to have an ambitious export profile for many years, but I think there's more of a waking up [to] opportunities here in sub-Saharan Africa," he told reporters.

Hochberg identified potential sectors of investment as energy, aircraft, mining, medical and small businesses.

Clean Energy Receives Financing

This week, Ex-Im Bank unveiled a loan worth $2 billion to finance clean energy in South Africa.

South Africa is the leading U.S. export market on the continent, taking in more than $7 billion worth of goods and services in 2011, 30% more than the previous year.

Hochberg said that last year the Ex-Im Bank signed a memorandum of understanding for the expansion of the energy and agriculture sectors in power-starved Nigeria.

"There has been some interest that is beginning to take some hold... high levels of interest" in Nigeria, he told reporters.

The bank loans have more than doubled from $14 billion in 2009 to $33 billion last year, mainly in long-term and expensive projects where local banks are uncomfortable.

Power is its critical target area, as well as mining and transport. EX-Im Bank has provided finance to Ethiopia Airlines, Kenya Airways, Angola's TAAG and British Airways' South African outfit Comair.

Hochberg will be in Mozambique on Thursday, a country poised to become a major energy player with huge offshore gas finds over the past year.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

Popular Sponsored Recommendations

Powering Up Productivity: The Transformative Power of AP Automation in Manufacturing

Oct. 25, 2023
Discover how AP Automation is revolutionizing the manufacturing industry, driving efficiency, cost savings, and security. In today's world, automation is the key to staying competitive...

Legacy Phone Lines Are Draining Your Profits

Oct. 30, 2023
Copper wire phone line expenses that support emergency devices could be costing your company millions of dollars in wasteful overhead expenses. Rates have been skyrocketing while...

You Cannot Stay Competitive by Bolting New Technologies to a Legacy ERP

Oct. 20, 2023
Read this white paper to understand the benefits of shifting to a next-generation ERP system as part of a DOP.

Shifting Your Business from Products to Service-Based Business Models: Generating Predictable Revenues

Oct. 27, 2023
Executive summary on a recent IndustryWeek-hosted webinar sponsored by SAP

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!