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Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

A continent-wide conference on ways to increase capital flows to Africa, co-sponsored by the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) and the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, on September 29 and 30, 2004. The goal of the conference is to strengthen U.S.-African business partnerships to help meet the continent's capital needs for infrastructure and other projects.

CCA President Steve Hayes declared, The breadth of the conference agenda - from best practices and current trends in accessing capital to public-private partnerships and risk mitigation, coupled with networking by African, American and international financiers and project sponsors -- is designed to further Africa's economic development.


INCREASING EXPORTS TO AFRICA --- Representatives of the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) and the Ex-Im Bank met with reporters on Sept. 2nd to explain the importance of the jointly-sponsored conference on Increasing Capital Flows to Africa to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa on Sept. 29-30, 2004. From left, Franklin H. Kennedy, chair of CCA's Financing Task Force, Steve Cashin, vice chair of the CCA executive committee, and J. Joseph Grandmaison, board member, Ex-Im Bank. (Ex-Im Bank photo by Linda Formella)

Africa is a top priority market for Ex-Im Bank's business development efforts, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman Philip Merrill. We hope that U.S. and African financial institutions, businesses, and governments can develop and expand productive working relationships through this conference. Meeting Africa's needs through procurement of U.S. goods and services also can benefit U.S. companies and their workers.

Ex-Im Bank board member J. Joseph Grandmaison, who helped organize the conference, said, Africa is becoming increasingly important to the United States when it comes to international trade, and infrastructure development is key to Africa's economic growth. Ex-Im Bank will continue to play a major role in expanding U.S.-African trade to the benefit of both countries.

Last year, Ex-Im Bank helped finance a record $700 million in U.S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa and another $100 million to the countries of the Maghreb. Overall U.S. exports to Africa increased by about 7 percent in 2003 to about $11 billion, and African exports to the United States increased by about 45 percent to approximately $32 billion.

The conference is intended for African, American and international financial institutions and project sponsors, African companies considering U.S. procurement and/or equity investment, African government officials, and U.S. companies involved in infrastructure, manufacturing, financial services, and other sectors.

It will include workshops and speeches on topics such as accessing African equity capital markets, small and medium-sized enterprises and financing, agribusiness financing, good governance, and financing information technology, as well as a focus on high priority infrastructure projects.

To get a copy of the agenda and register for the conference, which will be held at the Sandton Sun and Towers in Johannesburg, visit www.africacncl.org or call (202) 835-1115. Registration is $500. Early registration (before Sept. 1) is $400.

Ex-Im Bank this year marks its 70th year of helping finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export credit insurance, and direct loans. In fiscal year 2003, Ex-Im Bank, the official U.S. export credit agency, authorized financing to support $14.3 billion of U.S. exports worldwide. For more information on Ex-Im Bank, visit www.exim.gov.