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Partnership will benefit sub-Saharan Africa

mou idcSharing expertise to enhance economic and social development: US ambassador to South Africa Patrick Garspard and IDC chief executive Geoffrey Qhena.A crucial partnership has been set up allowing the various parties to tap into each other's expertise, to enhance economic and social development across the sub-Saharan region.

The partnership was made concrete on 18 February, when a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Industrial Development Corporation, the United States Agency for International Development (USAid), Power Africa and the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).

At the signing were by IDC chief executive Geoffrey Qhena, US ambassador to South Africa Patrick Garspard, USAid representative Cherlyn Anderson, Power Africa representative Andrew Herscowitz, USTDA representative Michael DeRenzo, and IDC staff. The event took place at the IDC’s head office in Sandton.

Qhena said the partnership came at an opportune moment, when there was a growing need for development financiers and agencies to mobilise additional sources of financing, including developing new approaches and innovative funding solutions. It would strengthen ties between businesses in the United States and those in sub-Saharan Africa.

"The IDC welcomes this partnership as it will stimulate more joint innovative activities that will benefit the sub-Saharan region. I see new opportunities for our collaboration on various fronts, such as the sharing of development experience, information, co-financing, capacity building and technical assistance.

"I am delighted that this collaboration will extend to the development of green energy projects. The diverse skills and expertise of the partners will complement each other in developing and financing a pipeline of projects in the green energy space," he added.

Garspard said that the partnership would build on and deepen an already impressive partnership between the involved governments and private sectors.

"This partnership with the IDC is aimed at building on Africa's aspirations and is a glowing testimonial to this new ethos. It is a platform of partners where we will be tackling common global challenges to help realise our aspirations."

"We need to recognise that if we don't do our part to stimulate activities today, we will not be able to sustain the incredible growth we are seeing in Africa. Things need to change and this [memorandum of understanding] is a step in that direction," he added.

"I give you my word that I will closely follow up and monitor all the progress that is made as a consequence of today's signing."

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