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Readout from Chairman Reed’s Meeting with U.S. Ambassador to the African Union Jessica Lapenn


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WASHINGTON – President and Chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) Kimberly A. Reed met today via teleconference with U.S. Ambassador to the African Union Jessica Lapenn to address how EXIM can help American businesses export their “Made in the U.S.A.” goods and services to the African continent.

During the meeting, Chairman Reed and Ambassador Lapenn discussed the COVID-19 global pandemic response.  More broadly, they also underscored the importance of engagement with the African Development Bank, the African Export-Import Bank, and other institutions in the region.

Building on their meetings and roundtable with U.S. and African business leaders, government officials, and stakeholders that took place in Pretoria, South Africa in May 2019 when Chairman Reed led the U.S. Presidential Delegation to the inauguration of His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, Chairman Reed and Ambassador Lapenn pledged to continue to work together to advance U.S. exports to Africa, which create economic growth and prosperity in both the United States and Africa.

They also reviewed EXIM’s historic seven-year Congressional reauthorization, which, in part, establishes a new program on China and Transformational Exports to support the extension of loans, guarantees, and insurance, at rates and on terms and other conditions, to the extent practicable, that are fully competitive with rates, terms, and other conditions established by the People’s Republic of China.  The program has the aim of supporting U.S. innovation, employment, and technological standards through direct exports globally, including to Africa, in ten transformational export industries, such as wireless communications, biomedical sciences, biotechnology, renewable energy, and water treatment and sanitation.

EXIM has a legislative mandate to support projects throughout sub-Saharan Africa and participates the U.S. government’s Prosper Africa program and the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA). The agency also receives guidance and advice from the congressionally mandated Sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Committee regarding EXIM policies and programs designed to encourage the expansion of financing support for U.S. manufactured goods and services in sub-Saharan Africa.

Chairman Reed and Lapenn

EXIM Chairman Kimberly Reed and U.S. Ambassador to the Africa Union Jessica Lapenn at the inauguration of South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, May 25, 2019.


EXIM is an independent federal agency that promotes and supports American jobs by providing competitive and necessary export credit to support sales of U.S. goods and services to international buyers. 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, approximately 90 percent of the total number of the agency’s authorizations has directly supported small businesses. Since 1992, EXIM has generated more than $9 billion for the U.S. Treasury for repayment of U.S. debt.

For more information about EXIM, please visit www.exim.gov.