US sets up finance center to push $20m Africa clean energy initiative

The United States has established a new centre that will advance the objectives of the $20 million US-Africa Clean Energy Finance (US-ACEF) initiative launched earlier this year by Secretary Hilary Clinton at Rio +20.

The US-Africa Clean Energy Development and Finance Center is an initiative developed by three US agencies – the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Exim Bank).

It is to provide a coordinated approach to clean energy project development in sub-Saharan Africa.

The establishment of the centre was announced by the Acting US Secretary of Commerce, Rebecca Blank, November 28, 2012 in South Africa at a luncheon event co-hosted by Business Unity South Africa and the Corporate Council on Africa.

In a joint statement, the Exim Bank, OPIC and the USTDA said the center will provide “technical and financial support for clean energy project development by providing the US private sector, as well as sub-Saharan African developers, with a centralized means to identify and access US government support for their clean energy export and investment needs.”

The center will also coordinate its resources with those of the US private sector, multilateral development banks, local development banks, private banks, and private equity firms, they added.

The Center was announced as part of a broader ‘Doing Business in Africa Campaign’ that aims to harness federal trade promotion and financing capabilities to help US businesses both identify and seize upon trade and investment opportunities, furthering the United States’ commercial relationship with Africa.

By Ekow Quandzie

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