US makes available $100m to support SMEs - Eligible companies asked to apply

 


The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has established a US$100 million loan facility with CAL Bank to support on lending to small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in the country.

The United States Ambassador to Ghana, Mrs Stephanie Sullivan, who disclosed this to Graphic Online, said the DFC was ready to assist private firms investing in the country and subsequently asked interested companies to visit the DFC’s website to review the eligibility checklist.

“Firms can also contact the Prosper Africa Secretariat at prosperafrica@usaid.gov to inquire about what other U.S. government mechanisms might support their investment projects,” she stated.

The exclusive interview is part of a special supplement organised by the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) Ghana to celebrate the Independence Day anniversary of the United States on July 4.

Mrs Sullivan said private firms could access the DFC to help finance projects, purchase political risk insurance and partially guarantee investments. “The DFC is currently supporting over a dozen projects in Ghana worth nearly $1 billion dollars.

The U.S.DFC support includes projects to expand health care facilities, to generate power and to improve access to finance for SMEs in the agricultural sector,” she added.

Energy sector support With regard to the US support for the country’s energy sector, the US Ambassador said there were roughly 120 companies operating in Ghana, several of which worked in the energy sector, including oil services companies, investors in Ghana’s power sector, and U.S. suppliers of energy technologies.

“U.S. businesses transfer knowledge, provide customer service ,create high-quality products, abide by anti-corruption rules, and create jobs. A favourable business climate, including respect for contract sanctity,is essential to attracting additional U.S. investors to Ghana, including in the important energy sector,” she added.

According to her, the United States, through its Power Africa programme, had provided significant technical assistance to help Ghana overcome its challenges in the energy sector, including working with the Ghanaian government, the German government, and the World Bank to develop Ghana’s Energy Sector Recovery Programme, which is aimed at stabilising the sector’s finances.

“Additionally, Power Africa is working to expand energy access to consumers and businesses that are not connected to the national grid, and to increase the productive uses of renewable energy with technologies like solar irrigation for farms,” she said. Mrs Sullivan also leveraged the opportunity to talk about the work through the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

She stated: “The MCC and the Millennium Development Authority continue to implement the $308 million Ghana Power Compact to transform Ghana’s power sector through key infrastructure investments that will provide more reliable electricity by resolving voltage regulation problems, improving voltage profiles, and increasing the power supply to Ghana’s businesses and households, including approximately 4.8 million consumers.”

She mentioned the Pokuase and Kasoa Bulk Supply Points (BSPs) as the two flagship investments under the MCC Compact to improve the electricity transmission grid and distribution network.

The Pokuase BSP is a $50 million power substation, the first in Accra, with the largest capacity in the country.

It was recently tested and energised in May, and is now operational, paving the way for more reliable energy for customers in Pokuase and surrounding areas.”

She said Pokuase would soon be followed by the Kasoa Bulk Supply Point, which is a $44 million power substation.

“Construction at Kasoa continues and will come online later in the year. Unreliable electricity leaves Ghanaians in the dark; these investments the United States is making together with the government of Ghana are paving the way for a brighter future,” she added.


Source: Graphic.com.gh

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