US Export-Import Bank Constitutes Sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Committee

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The US Export-Import Bank has reaffirmed its commitment to the growth of the US-African cooperation by constituting Sub-Saharan Advisory Committee for 2020 and 2021.

The committee is composed of pro-investment and pro-business advisors who understand Africa and would be instrumental in growing the US-African cooperation and flows of goods, services and technology.

The Sub-Saharan Advisory Committee is chaired by the Senior Vice President and Director of the Programme on Prosperity and Development at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Daniel Runde.

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Other members of the committee include: Chief Executive Officer, Energy and Natural Resource Security, Inc., Derek Campbell; Senior Vice President, African Affairs and President, US-Africa Business Centre, US Chamber of Commerce, Scott Eisner; Founder and Chief Executive Officer, AppsTech, Rebecca Enonchong; Executive Director/Americas Export Finance Head, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Lori Helmers; President and Chief Executive Officer, Corporate Council on Africa, Florizelle Liser, Chairman, AfricaGlobal Schaffer,
Mima Nedelcovych; Principal, The OKPA Co., EE Okpa; Director Customer and Industry Relations, Progress Rail, a Caterpillar Company, Marise Duff Stewart; President – International Business, Acrow Bridge, Paul Sullivan; and Chief Executive Officer, United Bank for Africa (UBA), America, Sola Yomi-Ajayi.

By working to provide funding for trade and development deals in Africa for American companies, the US EXIM Bank could become an increasingly important source of financing for Africa’s critical energy infrastructure.

US companies have important products, experience and expertise in several key segments of the energy value chain that would be extremely beneficial if properly matched with opportunities on the continent.

This is especially relevant to the natural gas value-chain which has become a key priority for most African governments, and for which American technology and services could help transform the continent’s energy industry.

Equally important is the focus given to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within the committee.

The African Energy Chamber’s own US-Africa Committee has identified the collaboration between US and African SMEs as a major requirement to grow investment and technology transfers between the US and Africa.

Commenting on the latest appointments, a prominent member of the Africa Energy Chamber’s US-Africa Committee, Jude Kearney, said: “The African Energy Chamber notes and welcomes the recent appointment of the US Exim Bank’s Sub-Saharan Advisory Committee.

“The renewed interest and appetite for investing in Africa shown by Exim Bank and other US trade agencies is welcome in Africa, and the continent’s energy sector is listening and open to doing business and making the kind of deals that will propel the continent towards a prosperous future.”

“The African Energy Chamber looks forward to supporting further US involvement in Africa and to developing new ways of working together and pushing for a pro-African investment agenda in the US public and private sectors,” said Kearney, who’s also the former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Service Industries and Finance at the US Department of Commerce during the Clinton Administration and currently President of Kearney Africa Advisors.

On his part, Director of Strategy at the Africa Energy Chamber, Mickael Vogel, said: “We are very proud to see Rebecca Enonchong on this board. She more than anyone understands the challenges of small businesses and has personally built and mentored many such businesses.

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“With her you know you have someone who will work towards making America a good partner of the African business community and ensuring that civil society is not left behind. She is an inspiration for so many women in business.”

“We are grateful that our own C. Derek Campbell will add value to this work.

“Derek has a proven track-record on issues that concern trade with Africa and also on Energy Security.

“Advancing and protecting Africa’s energy sector, empowering Africans and openings doors for so many that he has never met has been the work of his life,” noted the Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber, NJ Ayuk.

The increased attention given to SMEs on both sides of the Atlantic is extremely encouraging for the future of US-African cooperation and its ability to create jobs and value for both regions.

Idowu Sowunmi