US government through its development finance institution, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has committed $130 million to telecommunications company, Africell.
The funds will be used to support Africell to upgrade and expand mobile telecommunication networks in four African countries.
Ray W. Washburne the president of OIPC who is currently in Uganda says about a quarter of the $130 million financing will be invested in Uganda. He says OIPC currently has over $50 million investment commitments in Uganda and Africell commitment will increase it to about $80 million.
At the start of this month, OIPC launched Connect Africa initiative which will invest more than $1 billion to projects that support transportation, communications, and value chains in Africa over the next three years.
Washburne says that Sub-Saharan Africa has a quarter of the agency's $23 billion active portfolio. The US Congress, he says passed a bill that will double the agency's investment portfolio to 60 billion dollars.
Washburne, who is on the first Africa trip, says OIPC is aggressively looking for projects to fund on the continent. In Uganda, he says they are looking at a number of projects ranging from agriculture to telecommunication, energy, hotel industry, tourism among others.
He says U.S businesses recognise that investment in Uganda represents both an opportunity to address pressing development channels and a promising business opportunity in the emerging market.
"In recent years, investment in public infrastructure, and related momentum in the country's manufacturing and service sector has become Uganda's primary catalyst for current and future economic growth," he said.
"The Overseas Private Investment Corporation invests in development projects in emerging markets and we are committed to helping Uganda and all Sub Saharan African forge deeper ties with the world."
For small businesses, Washburne says OIPC will be giving large loan portfolios to banks. These banks will be required enable small businesses owners access credit.