U.S. to invest $350 million in Sub-Saharan Africa women businesses

U.S. to invest $350 million in Sub-Saharan Africa women businesses

All Africa

Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) Acting President and CEO David Bohigian launched an initiative that finances women owned businesses.

Entitled, OPIC 2X Africa, Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) initiative, seeks to directly invest $350 million to help mobilize $1 billion in capital to support women-owned, women-led, and women-supporting projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. The initiative is launched in front of women leaders and entrepreneurs at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, according to the press statement African Business Watch received from U.S. Embassy in Addis.

“For women to succeed as entrepreneurs and job creators we must ensure they have equal access to the financing necessary to start and grow their businesses,” said Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump. “In furtherance of this goal, it is my honor to announce a new landmark initiative within W-GDP, 2X Africa, to directly invest capital into supporting women-owned, women-led, and women-supporting projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

“The launch of 2X Africa underscores OPIC’s recognition of the critical role that women play in tackling Africa’s most pressing development challenges,” said OPIC Acting President and CEO David Bohigian. “By strengthening our focus on the women of Africa, OPIC will foster prosperity and stability in the region, and support the Administration’s important efforts to advance global women’s economic empowerment through W-GDP.”

OPIC’s 2X Women’s Initiative aims to harness the multi-trillion dollar opportunity women represent by catalyzing investment in projects that support the world’s women. One year since the launch of the initiative, OPIC in March announced that it had surpassed the initiative’s initial target to mobilize $1 billion to the world’s women.

Yesterday while in Addis Ababa, Bohigian signed an letter of interest with a women owned business called Muya to help support the company through OPIC financing. Muya, founded in 2005 by female entrepreneurial fashion designer Sara Abera, produces high quality household products. The company is the first Ethiopian company to obtain membership in the World Fair Trade Organization.

Launched in 2018, OPIC’s 2X Women’s Initiative has already invested more than $1 billion supporting women’s economic empowerment across the developing world. During the African Women’s Economic Empowerment Dialogue Ms. Trump hosted a roundtable discussion with Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde, UNECA Deputy Executive Secretary, Ms. Giovanie Biha, and Mastercard Vice Chairman Ann Cairns.