PRESS RELEASE: OPIC awards seven clients Impact Awards for excellence in development
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
OPIC recognized seven clients for excellence in development at its May 19 Impact Awards. Clients were recognized for projects that bring electricity to remote villages in India, financial services to small businesses in the Middle East, affordable education to poor families in Sub-Saharan Africa and much more.
“It’s easy to think of international development in far-flung corners of the world as something abstract,” OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield said at the awards ceremony on May 19. “But if it were possible to take a quick trip around the world and visit the projects we’re honoring today, you’d see some incredibly inspiring scenes.”
OPIC presented the awards to seven clients across five categories including:
Innovation: Belstar Development LLC
Miami-based Belstar is an OPIC client that uses political risk insurance to support its work as the lead investor in the Ghana National Medical Equipment Modernization Project to improve the medical equipment and quality and availability of care in Ghana through a comprehensive approach that includes dispatching mobile clinics to remote areas of the country.
Development Impact: Bridge International Academies
Bridge is helping provide a quality and affordable education to thousands of low-income children in Kenya through a model in which instructors use e-books to access a standardized curriculum. Bridge expects to educate 300,000 students in Kenya and create hundreds of local jobs in the process.
Development Impact: Sante GMT
Sante GMT is a food and beverage producer in Georgia that used OPIC loans to modernize its processing facility and expand beyond milk production into a line of juices, yogurts, cheeses and dessert foods. The project proved highly developmental not only because it enhanced the country’s food supply but because it provided a source of income for thousands of rural family farmers who previously had no way of selling the milk produced on their land.
Renewable Resources: Simpa Networks
Simpa Networks is bringing solar-powered electricity to some of the 400 million people in India who live in rural villages far from the central grid. Simpa provides home solar systems that are easy to use and affordable. It is using an OPIC loan to expand its customer base from 5,000 to as many as 40,000.
Renewable Resources: Root Capital
The second award in the renewable resources category went to Root Capital, which works to empower small rural farmers throughout Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa by providing financing for farm inputs such as fertilizer, equipment and seeds, when commercial loans are not available. OPIC financing has helped Root provide loans in 32 countries from Bolivia to Swaziland.
Access to Finance: Global Communities Vitas s.a.l.
Global Communities is a not-for-profit organization that works closely with local communities in the developing world to provide financing and other support to improve the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people. OPIC financing to Global Communities Vitas facility supported more than 36,000 small microfinance loans in Lebanon.
American Small Business: CSI Latina
CSI Latina Financial Inc. is a Miami-based business that supports small and medium enterprises in developing countries by providing leases of information technology equipment including IT and communications products, heavy machinery, manufacturing equipment and furniture. By enabling businesses to access this critical equipment by lease rather than purchase, CSI can help them overcome budget constraints and achieve greater financial flexibility. OPIC financing has supported CSI’s operations throughout Latin America.