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In Johannesburg, USTDA co-hosted a roundtable discussion on mobilizing private capital for growth in Africa

USTDA Director Zak Joins President Obama During Visits to South Africa and Tanzania

Highlights the Breadth of Activities to Support Broad-based Economic Growth on the Continent

Johannesburg, SA - Today, Director Leocadia I. Zak concluded a trip to South Africa and Tanzania, where she highlighted the important role the Agency plays in supporting broad-based economic development in the region while increasing U.S. private sector engagement.  In joining President Obama during his visit to Africa, Director Zak underscored his emphasis on trade and investment as key drivers of Africa's economic growth.  This increase in trade will not only create opportunity for Africans, including the growing youth population, but will also facilitate export opportunities and job growth in the United States.

Last Saturday, USTDA co-hosted a financing roundtable in Johannesburg that featured U.S. Trade Representative Mike Froman and Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett.  During the session, Director Zak highlighted the many ways that USTDA helps local project sponsors successfully attract the capital necessary to finance and implement infrastructure development projects by funding bankable studies and project analyses.  Representatives from many of the African private sector and financing entities repeatedly spoke about the need for early project development assistance for critical infrastructure needs, which USTDA is uniquely poised to provide.  As the leading United States government agency for project preparation and development, USTDA can provide feasibility studies, investment analysis and technical assistance tools that help mitigate early project development risks and move projects toward final financing and implementation.

On Friday, Director Zak signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) to enhance cooperation on project development in sub-Saharan Africa.  USTDA and DBSA committed to leveraging their respective resources to accelerate the development, financing and implementation of priority infrastructure projects in the areas of transportation, telecommunications, clean energy, environment and water.  The partnership will further leverage private sector resources and expertise to deliver innovative development solutions and greater investment in sub-Saharan Africa.     

On Thursday, USTDA hosted an aviation roundtable where Director Zak announced the launch of a $1 million U.S.-South Africa Aviation Training Program.  This Program will catalyze involvement from the U.S. aviation industry and South African aviation entities to ensure that South Africa continues to develop the human capacity resources it needs to remain a global leader in aviation while creating export opportunities for U.S. businesses.  The Training Program was launched under the U.S-South Africa Aviation Initiative, which was announced last year to support closer cooperation between U.S. industry and South Africa's growing aviation industry.

Director Zak also traveled this week to Tanzania, where she joined the Presidential delegation in further highlighting the importance of trade and investment to Africa's economic growth.  She accompanied President Obama to the Business Leaders' Forum, where he launched the Trade Africa initiative and outlined the Administration's plans to double trade with the East African Community.  Director Zak also joined public and private sector leaders at a Corporate Council on Africa luncheon, during which she highlighted USTDA's success in energy and telecommunications projects that have improved infrastructure in the region while increasing U.S. exports.

Finally, Director Zak joined President Obama at the Ubungo Symbion Power Plant, the final stop of his trip, where he outlined further details for the recently launched Power Africa initiative.  Power Africa will double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa by adding more than 10,000 megawatts of cleaner, more efficient electricity generation capacity.

Anna Humphrey at (703) 875-4357