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  • Lobito Corridor Investment Promotion Authority

DFC Approves $250 Million Loan for Lobito Corridor Expansion

On February 8, at the Lobito Corridor Investor Forum in Lusaka, Zambia, the DFC announced the approval of a $250 million loan to fund the continued expansion and improvement of rail infrastructure along the Lobito Corridor. Congressional approval is required because it exceeds thresholds and further scrutiny has been triggered, otherwise investments are normally dispersed once authorized by the DFC board.

At the Lobito Corridor Investor Forum, the Development Finance Corporation ("DFC") announced that a historic $250 million loan was approved to be used to expand the railway network in the Lobito Corridor. This marks the largest US government rail investment in Africa and underscores the strategic importance of the corridor for regional trade and development. Nisha Biswal (third from left in photo), DFC's Managing Director, made the following announcement at the event highlighting the DFC's commitment to Africa:

"Africa is DFC’s largest regional portfolio with over $11 billion in financing for projects across the continent, including along the Lobito Corridor... We are committed to working with our partners on the continent to build high-quality infrastructure and invest in agriculture, healthcare, and financial services that will impact lives and livelihoods across the corridor.”

The Lobito Corridor is a vital trade route spanning over 1,300 km, connecting mineral-rich regions in Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Zambia's Copperbelt to the Atlantic Ocean via the Lobito port. This corridor facilitates the efficient export of critical minerals like copper, cobalt, and lithium, key components for clean energy technologies and global supply chains. The US investment through the DFC loan signifies a strategic shift in infrastructure development in Africa. It positions the Lobito Corridor as a viable alternative to China's Belt and Road Initiative, offering transparency, sustainability, and adherence to high labor standards.

The $250 million loan will be used by the Africa Finance Corporation ("AFC"), the entity spearheading Phase II of the Lobito Corridor works, to continue to improve and expand the rail network. Congressional review and approval are the only things standing in the way of the loan being dispersed. Congressional approval is required for such large disbursements.

Also announced was a $10 million loan to Seba Foods Zambia Ltd, the first U.S. Food and Agriculture investment along the Lobito Corridor. The loan proceeds will be used to expand Seba Foods Zambia's food production and storage capacity for maize-based, soya-based, and other affordable consumer food products.

The Lobito Corrido Investor Form was put on by the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment ("PGII") organization. This was the first form outside of the United States, and 250 business and government leaders from Angola, the DRC, the EU, the US, and Zambia, as well as international investors, joined the event.


Image by katsuma tanaka
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