Ghana has been selected to be part of a group of lower middle income countries in Africa to benefit from an initiative by the US government that is meant to invest about $20 billion in the private sectors of beneficiary countries.
Known as Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the initiative is being implemented by the US International Development Corporation, an independent agency established to finance private development projects in Africa, Latin America and parts of Asia.
Speaking at a breakfast meeting by the American Chamber of Commerce, Ghana (AMCHAM) in Accra on Tursday, the Economic Growth Director of USAID, Mr James Lykos, said that under the initiative, the American government would invest a total of $60 billion into the private sectors in Africa, Latin America, Asia and other emerging economies around the world.
Of the amount, he said $20 billion had been dedicated to Africa, of which Ghana would be a beneficiary.
“The DFC is equipped with a more than doubled investment cap of $60 billion and new financing tools such as equity financing, debt financing, political risk insurance and technical development.
“With the $60 billion cap, the DFC would be shared among Africa, Latin America and Asia, with each continent receiving approximately $20 billion under the initiative,” he said.
He stated that the DFC consolidated and modernised the Overseas Private Investment Corporate (OPIC) and the Development Credit Authority (DCA) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
He explained that the initiative was designed to help businesses to expand into emerging markets, finances solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world and reinforces US foreign policy and national security interests.
He noted that the agency was also committed to continuing the OPIC’s long track record of generating income for debt reduction.
Mr Lykos stated that the DFC was expected to be invested in sectors ranging from critical infrastructure, energy and technology to healthcare and financing for small businesses and women entrepreneurs.
To ensure that all investments adhere to high standards and respect the environment, human rights and worker rights, the director said the agency would monitor all projects from their inception to the conclusion of the DFC financial support.
The Executive Secretary of AMCHAM, Mr Simon Madjie, in an interview with the Daily Graphic after the meeting, urged businesses in the country to take advantage of the DFC initiative.
He observed that one of the key vision of AMCHAM was to promote strong collaborations between Ghanaian and US businesses.
It was for that reason, he said the breakfast meeting was organised to enable Ghanaian firms to learn and understand the new DFC and know how to access it.
With 75 participants, the meeting was aimed at educating members of the chamber on the new DFC.