Americans seek links with Zambia’s private sector

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Ray Wasburne, President and Chief Executive of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation(OPIC), a United States of America Government Development Finance Institution, has said his delegation is in Zambia to explore investment prospects in energy, agriculture processing, transport and logistics, tourism, information and communication technology, and value chains.

He says this will be done through his organisations Connect Africa Initiative and could extend to women driven entrepreneurship initiatives.

“We are here to seek investment projects in energy, agriculture processing, transport and logistics, tourism, information and communication technology, value chains, and women driven entrepreneurship initiatives,” Mr. Washburne said during a courtesy call on Minister of Finance Margaret Mwanakatwe at her office in Lusaka.

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is a self-sustaining U.S. Government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets. OPIC helps American businesses gain footholds in new markets, catalyzes new revenues and contributes to jobs and growth opportunities both in the United States and internationally, explained the American delegation.

OPIC fulfills its mission by providing businesses with financing, advocacy and by partnering with private equity investment fund managers.

Last week, OPIC launched its Connect Africa Initiative which will mobilize more than $1 billion to projects that support transportation, communications, and value chains in Africa over the next three years.

And Mrs. Mwanakatwe says the Zambian Government will continue to implement robust transformational reforms and support private sector led development initiatives in order to help the country to achieve growth rates beyond the 4.1% margin recorded in 2017.

Presenting a profile of his organisation, Mr. Washburne said OPIC has been mandated by the United States Congress to explore investment prospects in countries such as Zambia.

“We want to establish investment links in your country,” he said, and added that OPIC was keen to enter into partnerships with the private sector using an investment model that will present NO DEBT RISK to the Zambian Government.

“Our money is not meant to compound your national debt, it is a private sector facility,” assured Mr. Washburne and his delegation.

Speaking during the meeting, Mrs. Mwanakatwe appealed to the American delegation to consider establishing a fund for supporting entrepreneurship initiatives of women and youths, “especially in rural areas of Zambia.”

“The President [Edgar Chagwa Lungu] and all of us in Government are intent on making sure that the Zambian economy changes for the better, and it will change,” declared Mrs. Mwanakatwe.

The Minister implored the Americans to assess green-field investment opportunities in the livestock, crop agriculture and infrastructure development spheres “because such an effort would have a greater impact on income generation and poverty reduction.”

During the launch of the Connect Africa Initiative held in the United States last week, Mr. Washburne stated that Africa was home to many of the world’s fastest-growing economies and presented both a great need for investment and a great opportunity for American businesses.

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9 COMMENTS

    • What Ray Wasburne need to know is that its not about the US investments appetite in the many Zambian opportunity, but corruption that turns Americans off. Americans are strictly bound by The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), enacted in 1977, which prohibits the payment of bribes to foreign officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business. In Zambia to do business investors need to corrupt officials and civil servants heavily first before thing move an inch. But such practices are not possible for the ethical Americans. They’re fearful of the Justice Department’s punitive laws. We recall a few years back a Group of Zambian American Engineers, Professors, Investors, and Entrepreneurs teamed up backed up by US Corporate Giants to invest over US$400 Million in some capital…

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    • Bandits…just be careful whenever you deal with Americans…they always have something hidden in their sleeve

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    • …investment in some critical capital projects they had identified with full backing of US industry giants, were just withdrawn because they could not sign up for the Zambian culture of “corrupt me first”. We are talking of an investment Group of Zambian American experts with strong connections in on the money market. One of the principals i believe is Chagwa’s relation based in the US. He is now frequenting Rwanda, Angola, and Kenya making investments and taking US investors there instead of Zambia. This explains the effects of our corruption. Ray Wasburne will soon realize that its only Chinese way (Corruption first) of doing business that thrives in Zambia and not America best practices or appetite.

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  1. Agony for me is apparently almost everyone here simply makes noise instead of actually going back home to Zambia and put in action what they propagate here. Most of us are doing it. So why do you have to continue hearing your butt fatt in the name of academic intelligence. No bwanga tibuziba and yet you academic geniuses could not turn into something positive except blubber mouthing about your phd’s? Stupid fools.

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