Remarks by Amos Hochstein Senior Advisor to the President on Energy and Investment PGI Lobito Corridor Private Sector Investor Forum Lusaka, Zambia
Remarks by Amos Hochstein
Senior Advisor to the President on Energy and Investment
PGI Lobito Corridor Private Sector Investor Forum
Remarks as prepared for delivery
• Thank you all for joining the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment Lobito Corridor Private Sector Investor Forum.
• I am delighted to be back in Zambia and to be here with our government partners and key business leaders from around the world for this momentous event.
• I would like to especially thank his Excellency, President Hichilema.
• Without his leadership and vision for Zambia’s role as a land-linked nation to connect the region, we would not be standing here today.
• It is remarkable to think that less than a year ago I sat with you in your office….
• President Hichilema, thank you for your friendship and continued partnership with the U.S. and in laying the tracks for Africa’s first open-access intercontinental rail line and for the hundreds of thousands of resulting jobs across Zambia and the Lobito Corridor that will be your legacy.
• Since President Biden and G7 Leaders gathered in Germany to launch PGI in June 2022, committing to deploy $600 billion in an effort to start closing the global infrastructure gap in emerging markets, I have had the pleasure of cohosting two investor forums.
• With Cabinet Secretaries Blinken, Yellen and Raimondo, we brought together the top banking and finance executives in the U.S. to discuss how to mobilize more capital for emerging market infrastructure.
• Today is our first Investor Forum outside the U.S., focused solely on PGI’s flagship effort – the Lobito economic corridor.
• The United States chose Africa for PGI’s first economic corridor because Africa is the future – with more than a third of the world’s youth and a quarter of the entire world population living on the continent by 2050.
• Time is of the essence to build the storage and transportation infrastructure that will enable a smallholder farmer to grow from providing food for her family to building a large-scale agribusiness that provides wage-earning jobs for her children and neighbors, enabling a landlocked country such as Zambia to become the foundation of Africa’s bread basket;
• –to build digital infrastructure that will enable a rural healthcare worker to provide cutting edge e-health services so his patient doesn’t have to travel hours and days to the capital for help.
• –to build clean energy infrastructure that will both power industrial growth for the climate transition and jobs – but also enable students with electricity to study after sundown and develop the next great invention for Africa to leapfrog the developed world.
• Nine short months ago, building on the momentum initiated by Zambia, Angola and the DRC, President Biden announced PGI’s support to develop the Lobito Corridor and a vision to connect the African continent from the Atlantic to the Indian Oceans.
• With the partnership of the European Union, the African Development Bank and the Africa Finance Corporation, who came together with us and the governments of Angola, the DRC and Zambia in October at the Global Gateway Forum in Brussels, we have mobilized close to an additional $1 billion to expand the Lobito Corridor by developing a new 800 kilometer rail line that will further connect Zambia to this essential regional network.
• The Zambia-Lobito Rail line is key to lowering the cost, time and emissions footprint of goods and products transiting in and out of the region that will accelerate business and economic growth along the corridor.
• With AFC as the private-sector lead developing the project, we aim to break ground in 2026 and have an operational rail between eastern Angola across northwestern Zambia by 2028, demonstrating that focused public investment can unlock and deliver private-sector led strategic infrastructure projects in a timely manner in challenging frontier markets.
• We also aim to catalyze additional investment, directly and indirectly, across multiple priority sectors that complement each other in line with the needs of our African partners.
• Which is why we are here today. Today’s event is an important milestone for PGI and our work with our partners on the Lobito Corridor.
• In addition to the announcements my U.S. government colleagues will share momentarily, we intend that today’s first PGI Lobito Corridor Investor Forum will spur more private sector investment; that the information and ideas you’ll hear today, the tools you’ll learn about and the connections you will make will drive a positive acceleration on the trajectory of impact each of you can make on lives across the corridor and around the world.
• We look forward to your active participation through the program today and in the days and months to come.