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EX-IM BANK SHORT-TERM INSURANCE NOW AVAILABLE IN 39 SUB-SAHARAN AFRICAN COUNTRIES

Short-Term Insurance Pilot Program for Africa Renewed, Three Countries Added

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 31, 2003

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

Washington, DC: Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) short-term insurance now is available in 39 sub-Saharan African countries, with the addition of three countries to the Bank's Short-Term Insurance Pilot Program for Africa.

Ex-Im Bank's Board of Directors renewed the pilot program for three years, with an overall authorization limit of $100 million. The Bank also approved the addition of three countries to the program.

Overall in sub-Saharan Africa, elements of Ex-Im Bank's full range of medium- and long-term loan guarantee and direct loan programs, and short- and medium-term insurance programs, now are available in 39 countries: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde Island, Chad, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Equitorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zambia.

During 2002, Ex-Im Bank supported 127 transactions in 18 sub-Saharan African countries for a total of $475 million in authorizations - a substantial increase in dollar value over the previous year.

We hope the expansion of the pilot program's availability will encourage more small and medium-sized U.S. companies to seek new customers in these markets, and support small and medium-sized African buyers obtain the U.S. products they need to participate in the global economy, said J. Joseph Grandmaison, a member of Ex-Im Bank's Board of Directors.

Grandmaison added that the pilot program is beginning to see results. There was a modest increase in business under the program in 2002, and we have a number of pending transactions in the pipeline.

Under the pilot program, Ex-Im Bank can insure short-term credit transactions involving various payment terms, including open account. Please go to Ex-Im Bank's web site (www.exim.gov) to review the broad availability Ex-Im Bank's full range of programs in other markets in sub-Saharan Africa.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent U.S. government agency that helps finance the sale of U.S. exports primarily to emerging markets throughout the world by providing loans, guarantees and insurance. In fiscal year 2002, Ex-Im Bank supported approximately $13 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.