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EXIM 2019 Sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Committee Convenes Interagency Meeting to Advance President Trump’s Prosper Africa Initiative

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 22, 2019

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Washington, D.C. – The 2019 Sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Committee (SAAC) of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) met yesterday to discuss how EXIM can work closely with other federal trade agencies to fulfill President Trump’s Prosper Africa initiative aimed at increasing U.S. trade with Africa and fostering Africa’s economic development.

Interagency cooperation is vital to the success of President Trump’s Prosper Africa initiative. EXIM convened an open meeting with a wide variety of both public and private stakeholders to explore venues of cooperation on this important subject.

In addition to EXIM’s board of directors and SAAC members, joining in the discussion were Lisa Coppé, senior manager for sub-Saharan Africa, U.S. Trade and Development Agency; Ramsey Day, senior deputy assistant administrator for the Africa Bureau, U.S. Aid and International Development Agency; Steven Dowd, executive director, the African Development Bank Group; Worku Gachou, managing director, Africa, Overseas Private Investment Corporation; and Mima Nedelcovych, chief executive officer, AfricaGlobal Partners.

“President Trump has been very open about his desire to promote prosperity in Africa and expand U.S. trade with the African continent, and last year introduced the administration’s strategy—Prosper Africa—to accomplish these objectives,” said EXIM President and Chairman Kimberly A. Reed. “EXIM is a critical tool for this important initiative which will benefit the United States and nations in Africa.”

“A whole-of-government strategy is necessary to substantially increase two-way trade and investment between the United States and Africa,” said EXIM Board Member Judith D. Pryor. “Working with our sister agencies to leverage our collective resources can help provide the stimulus needed for sustainable economic development in Africa while also supporting U.S. jobs here at home.”

“Since 2009, EXIM has authorized more than $12 billion in support of America’s exports to sub-Saharan Africa,” said EXIM Board Member Spencer Bachus III. “We see great opportunities for American businesses, particularly small businesses, to dramatically increase U.S. exports to Africa.”

“It’s critically important the U.S. EXIM Bank be reauthorized to achieve the Trump Administration’s vision for Prosper Africa,” said SAAC Chair Daniel Runde. “There is a bipartisan consensus that we need to see Africa as a business opportunity, and we need the U.S. EXIM Bank to make that happen. If the U.S. EXIM Bank is not authorized, African businesses will work with others, including the Chinese.”

“In Africa, we are the good guys,” said Steven Dowd, executive director of the African Development Bank Group. “If you do business with U.S. firms, buyers will receive quality products and fair value, and they won’t be strapped with unsustainable debt.”

EXIM’s SAAC met last month and issued a statement on the agency’s Competitiveness Report, published online in June 2019 that provided an analysis of officially supported global export credit in calendar year 2018, a year in which EXIM did not have a quorum on the agency’s board of directors and was unable at that time to authorize individual transactions of greater than $10 million. A list of SAAC committee members is available on EXIM’s website.

SAAC Meeting
EXIM’s Sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Committee (SAAC) met yesterday at EXIM headquarters. Left to right: SAAC Member James O’Brien, principal, Baker & McKenzie LLP; EXIM Board Member Judith D. Pryor; SAAC Chair Daniel Runde; EXIM President and Chairman Kimberly A. Reed; and EXIM Board Member Spencer Bachus III.

 

ABOUT EXIM BANK:

EXIM is an independent federal agency that promotes and supports American jobs by providing competitive and necessary export credit to overseas purchasers of U.S. goods and services. A robust EXIM can level the global playing field for U.S. exporters when they compete against foreign companies that receive support from their governments. EXIM also contributes to U.S. economic growth by helping to create and sustain hundreds of thousands of jobs in exporting businesses and their supply chains across the United States. In recent years, 90 percent of the total number of the agency’s authorizations has directly supported small businesses.