The Export-Import Bank announced a new $2 billion loan guarantee aimed at developing clean energy in South Africa.

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA: The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) and the Industrial Development Corp. of South Africa Ltd. (IDC) today signed a Declaration of Intent (DoI) to help advance the South African government’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and the South African Renewable Initiative (SARi). Under the agreement, Ex-Im Bank will assist in financing up to $2 billion worth of U.S. technologies, products and services to South Africa’s energy sector, with an emphasis on clean-energy development.

Signing the DOI were Fred P. Hochberg, Ex-Im Bank chairman and president; Geoffrey Quena, chief executive officer of the IDC; and Gert Gouws, chief financial officer of the IDC. The signing took place during the South Africa-United States Strategic Dialogue, which was hosted by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The Ex-Im Bank’s mission is to create jobs for Americans by providing financing for foreign companies that will then purchase American exports. The bank is often derided as corporate welfare, a label once used by President Obama. Nowadays, Obama is a big fan of the bank. The bank, although an independent agency, has shown a curious tendency to invest in riskier green projects that mirror investments made by Obama’s Department of Energy. Because Obama “evolved” on the Ex-Im Bank, shaky foreign green companies that private actors are smart enough to leave alone can count on financing from American taxpayers.

This post was authored by editorial intern Kyle Bonnell.

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