Lagos, July 12, 2023 (NAN) Scott Nathan, Chief Executive Officer, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), says support for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is one of the five primary investment priorities of the institution.
SMEs, he said were the engine of growth in most economies, and key in Africa.
Nathan, who is also the Head, U.S. Delegation to the ongoing US-Africa Business Summit in Botswana disclosed this on Wednesday during a virtual news conference organised by the U.S. Department of State’s Africa Regional Media Hub.
The conference was organised to discuss the Biden-Harris Administration’s continued commitment to partnering with African countries.
According to Nathan, the DFC’s primary priorities include supporting high quality infrastructure development, and promoting sustainable and responsible reliable access to energy.
Others, he said are promoting agriculture and food security through business, and working to create resilient healthcare systems through private opportunities to support healthcare.
He added that the DFC was open to other opportunities to support the private sector, whether in housing, education, or elsewhere.
“As the CEO of the U.S. government’s development finance institution, I am proud to lead the U.S. government’s delegation to the U.S.-Africa Business Summit.
“It indicates how important access to capital and investment is to this relationship between the nations of Africa and the United States.
“Investment partnership, working together to promote economic growth and the private sector are the core of this relationship and that’s what we’re focused on.
“We’re looking to deepen and expand our partnership to amplify African voices and support the empowerment of Africans,” he said.
Nathan noted that six months after the conclusion of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, the U.S., through a lot of government effort, was beginning to deliver on its commitments.
NAN recalls that the U.S.- Africa Leaders Summit held from Dec. 13 to Dec. 15, 2022 in Washington, DC with delegations from 49 African countries and the African Union.
“We’ve increased the amount of deals that were committed through the business forum at that event by half a billion dollars and that work is ongoing.”
Nathan said that the DFC was focused on making development impact and creating sustainable sources of capital to yield expanded private sector and economic growth that did not rely on grant, aid or loans at a sovereign level.
He added that the DFC was active in 38 countries in Africa, had the capacity, a strong team and was making efforts to build relationships in order to be active across the continent.
“We are looking to make development impact to help countries grow in a sustainable and inclusive way,” he said.