Africa
Bechtel
Botswana
China
Connect Africa
Deloitte Africa Construction Trends Report
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Kenya
Mobius Motors
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Nairobi-Mombasa Expressway
Nairobi-Mombasa expressway.“Whether
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Ray Washburne
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The United States Overseas Private Investment Corporation
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US Export-Import Bank
Washburne
Zambia

Agency drums up support for US construction firms

Opic President and chief executive officer Ray Washburne who is in the country said Tuesday that US firms would “provide value for money” in the local projects singling out American contractor Bechtel. The US firm is set to build the Sh300 billion Nairobi-Mombasa expressway.Washburne is in Kenya to “explore investment opportunities, meet with government officials and visit some of the projects OPIC has supported.”

Agency drums up support for US construction firms

Chinese workers at a SGR construction site. Chinese firms have emerged bagged most infrustructure deals. AFP PHOTO

A US government agency that helps businesses to invest in emerging markets has sought more backing for American construction firms amid the rise of China as a key Kenya ally for infrastructure deals. The United States Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic) President and chief executive officer Ray Washburne who is in the country said Tuesday that US firms would “provide value for money” in the local projects singling out American contractor Bechtel.The US firm is set to build the Sh300 billion Nairobi-Mombasa expressway.“Whether it’s transportation, digital networks, or value chain, reliable connectivity has the power to transform emerging market economies,” Mr Washburne said.

“And, the American private sector has the ability to play a huge role in this growth by bringing critical investment, value, and American business practices.”He is in Kenya to “explore investment opportunities, meet with government officials and visit some of the projects OPIC has supported.”Nairobi is expected to appoint a lead arranger for the Bechtel’s project loan agreement with the US Export-Import Bank and the Opic.Mr Washburne who met with Bechtel emphasised the agency’s “ready support” for the Nairobi-Mombasa Expressway.READ: Kenya, US firm to hold talks on Sh300bn roadHis tour in Kenya, part of a six-nation trip, highlighted Opic’s new Connect Africa initiative to invest over $1 billion (about Sh101 billion) in transportation, technology and value chains in the continent.His trip included visits to Zambia, Rwanda, South Africa, and Botswana, and Uganda.“Africa is a long-standing priority for Opic and accounts for about one-quarter of the agency’s $23 billion global portfolio. With the new Connect Africa initiative, OPIC will focus on investments that will foster a more connected and prosperous future for Kenya and all of Africa,” said a statement from the US agency.Among the projects Washburne visited was Mobius Motors which is being supported by a $5 million (about Sh501 million) OPIC loan.According to the latest Deloitte Africa Construction Trends Report 2017 shows China is bankrolling 25.4 per cent of the mega projects in the region.The top official said Kenya was the final stop of a six-country trip “to promote US investment in Sub Saharan Africa, strengthen partnerships, identify new opportunities to work with regional allies on projects that drive economic growth and stability.”

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