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DFC Reinforces Pledge to Bolster African Infrastructure and Mineral Development

Tinashe Mupasiri



Asserting its steadfast dedication to amplifying investment in African infrastructure and critical minerals, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) dispatched its Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO), Nisha Biswal, to South Africa and Zambia. This mission, spanning from January 31 to February 9, marked the cornerstone of the largest U.S. government delegation to both the Mining Indaba and the inaugural Lobito Corridor Investors Forum, underlining DFC’s commitment to bolstering its engagements on the continent.

Nisha Biswal, Deputy CEO of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation

During her presence at the prestigious Mining Indaba in South Africa, DCEO Biswal reiterated DFC’s resolve to broaden investments in sustainably sourced and produced critical minerals across Africa and beyond. Emphasizing the agency’s endeavor to enhance its robust portfolio of critical mineral investments, Biswal articulated the agency’s ambition to foster stronger developmental impacts while advancing strategic objectives for expanded and diversified supply chains.

Noteworthy engagements during her visit included meetings with key DFC clients in Cape Town and Johannesburg, notably Africa Data Centres, spearheading the expansion of critical information and communications technology infrastructure across the continent, and Tetra4, a pioneering onshore helium producer in South Africa.

Further solidifying DFC’s strategic partnerships, DCEO Biswal, alongside U.S. Ambassador to South Africa Reuben Brigety, toured Mintek, a pivotal technology collaborator with Rainbow Rare Earths. DFC’s support for Rainbow Rare Earths, totaling $50 million in equity through the investment platform TechMet, was highlighted during the visit. A focal point of the tour was the unveiling of an innovative pilot plant for the Phalaborwa Rare Earths processing project, poised to repurpose industrial waste from a decommissioned mine into rare earth oxides essential for high-tech manufacturing.

In Zambia, DCEO Biswal’s participation in the Lobito Corridor Investor Forum, organized by the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGI), took center stage. At this forum, she announced a significant $10 million loan for Seba Foods, a prominent family-owned manufacturer of soya and maize consumer goods, and celebrated DFC’s burgeoning collaboration with the Africa Finance Corporation.

The forum, which drew participation from a myriad of investors, companies, and government officials, including Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema, spotlighted the vision of a new economic corridor spanning Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Zambia. This envisioned corridor aims to foster interconnected infrastructure, agricultural and energy markets, and various forms of commerce, thereby stimulating intra-regional trade, generating local employment opportunities, and facilitating access to new markets for communities across the region.

DFC’s unwavering commitment to fostering sustainable development and economic prosperity in Africa through strategic investments in critical sectors stands poised to pave the way for transformative growth and resilience across the continent. As the agency continues to reinforce its partnerships and initiatives, its role as a catalyst for inclusive and sustainable development in Africa remains paramount.

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