In the November issue of Forbes Woman Africa, OPIC Executive Vice President Mimi Alemayehou is featured in a lengthy profile piece. Talking about the lack of access to capital for SMEs in Africa, Alemayehou mentions the Medical Credit Fund as one of the ways in which OPIC loans help to address this issue.
Alemayehou: ‘One of the biggest challenges these small businesses often face is that they have no formal bank account or no track record of borrowing and repaying loans. That often means they are not deemed creditworthy. One of the ways OPIC has helped address this challenge is by supporting projects that promote greater access to financial services even in rural areas with limited physical infrastructure, and by providing loans and guaranties to support lending to these small businesses. For example, our loan to the Medical Credit Fund supports lending to many of Africa’s small health clinics that struggle to obtain bank loans. Along with providing them funds to pay for the upgrade and expansion of their facilities so that they can serve more patients, this program helps clinics establish a credit history.’
In 2010 U.S President Barack Obama nominated Ethiopia-born Mimi Alemayehou as the Executive Vice President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. government’s development finance institution. She helps manage OPIC’s USD 16 billion portfolio, channeling this capital to fund investment opportunities in emerging markets. Prior to her OPIC appointment, Alemayehou served as the United States Executive Director at the African Development Bank. Recently, Forbes included Alemayehou on its list of ‘The 20 Young Power Women In Africa 2013.’
Click here to read Part One of the interview, and here for Part Two, which features Alemayehou’s mention of the Medical Credit Fund.