Export-Import Bank of the United States President and Chair Reta Jo Lewis Kicks Off Trip to Africa By Signing $500 Million Memorandum of Understanding with Cote d’Ivoire

Touts New Era for U.S.-Africa Relations at Africa Investment Forum
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ABIDJAN, COTE D’IVOIRE – President and Chair of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) Reta Jo Lewis kicked off her first trip to Africa by signing a $500 million Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at a ceremony hosted by Cote d’Ivoire Prime Minister Patrick Achi. The MOU was signed by Minister of Economy and Finance Adama Coulibaly on Thursday alongside government officials and U.S. Ambassador to Cote d’Ivoire Richard Bell.

Chair Lewis holding a signed agreement“The MOU that we signed is further evidence of our shared commitment to strengthening both of our countries by empowering U.S. businesses to provide Cote d’Ivoire with quality, innovative goods and services, and to partner in an effort to create economic opportunity and support jobs in Cote d’Ivoire and the United States. As President and Chair of EXIM with a mission to support U.S. exports, I believe that reliable, American-made products will drive economic growth and enable the Cote d’Ivoire economy to thrive.”

Chair Lewis also addressed the Africa Investment Forum, where she touted a new day for U.S.-Africa relations and how she is building on the Biden-Harris Administration’s actions and commitments to deepen our engagement and partnerships in Africa during the past year. Chair Lewis also highlighted that EXIM is back and eager to forge new alliances to advance investment opportunities between the U.S. and Africa.

The U.S. participation in the 2022 Africa Investment Forum included a delegation led by EXIM Chair Lewis, with representatives from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), the Development Finance Corporation (DFC), Prosper Africa, and Power Africa.

Group shot of Chair LewisDuring the visit, Chair Lewis held numerous bilateral discussions to explore strategic partnerships in fulfillment of EXIM’s mandate on Sub-Saharan Africa, including with African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina, and private sector executives from firms representing infrastructure, banking, and energy sectors.

Chair Lewis also met with key representatives from the African Export-Import Bank, Africa Finance Corporation, Trade and Development Bank, and Africa50.

Chair Lewis will convene with leaders from across the African continent when President Biden hosts the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in mid-December in Washington, D.C. and when EXIM hosts its Annual Conference on Dec. 13.


The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) is the nation’s official export credit agency with the mission of supporting American jobs by facilitating U.S. exports. To advance American competitiveness and assist U.S. businesses as they compete for global sales, EXIM offers financing including export credit insuranceworking capital guarantees, loan guarantees, and direct loans. As an independent federal agency, EXIM contributes to U.S. economic growth by supporting tens of thousands of jobs in exporting businesses and their supply chains across the United States. Since 1992, EXIM has generated more than $9 billion for the U.S. Treasury for repayment of U.S. debt. Learn more at www.exim.gov.