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DFC: Trump’s ‘weapon’ to thwart Chinese influence across Africa

By Joël Té-Léssia Assoko
Posted on Friday, 10 July 2020 18:25

Adam Boehler, le CEO of DFC and Prosper Africa, on 14 April 2020 in Washington DC. © Alex Brandon/AP/SIPA

The new US institution seeks to thwart China’s hegemony in developing countries, particularly in those on the continent.

After many months spent “warning” governments about the dangers of Beijing’s “non-transparent” development financing, the Trump administration launched the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) in January 2020.

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This institution consolidates the work previously carried out by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), with a more than doubled investment cap of $60bn.

Geared towards the private sector

Decidedly geared towards the private sector, and well aware of the imperative that its transactions reflect positively on the United States, DFC is headed by Adam S. Boehler, an expert in healthcare investment.

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Since he took office, the US agency has injected $25m into a fund managed by SPE Capital, a private equity firm with offices in Tunis and Casablanca, and $30m into AfricInvest’s new pan-African fund.

DFC granted a $100m loan to the US-based Global Access Fund to finance water and sanitation projects in 10 countries in the south, in addition to Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda. Since February, Boehler has also been serving as executive chairman of Prosper Africa, an initiative launched in 2018 to enhance “opportunities to do business in Africa – benefiting companies, investors, and workers both in Africa and the United States”.