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UPDATED: Jan 23, 2013

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An independent federal agency has authorized a $155.4 million direct loan to finance the construction the expansion of a hospital in Ghana.

The Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank of the United States, an agency that creates and maintains American jobs by filling gaps in private export financing, has issued the loan to the Republic of Ghana for a hospital project in Accra, Ghana.

Miami-based Americaribe Inc. will export the goods and services required of the project.

The direct business loan will go to the Ridge Hospital Complex, which is currently the main medical facility for the Greater Accra Region (GAR). The complex, which was built in 1928, has suffered from a recent population expansion starting with 1.4 million residents in 2000 and spiking to 3.9 million in 2010.

The expansion project will help to reduce the capacity shortages due to the population spike. 

After completion, the hospital will be among the most advanced medical facilities in West Africa with a technologically advanced maternity ward in a 420-bed building.

The direct loan issued to the Republic of Ghana will support an average of 700 U.S. jobs, according to Ex-Im Bank and Department of Commerce and Labor data.

Lawton King, public affairs specialist for Ex-Im, told that jobs will be created “because it helps the companies involved fulfill their orders.”

King said that due to confidentiality rules, Ex-Im is unable to release specifics of the direct loan such as financing terms and repayment dates.

According to Ex-Im’s 2012 annual report, projects in sub-Saharan Africa have amassed over $1.5 billion in Ex-Im financing for 2012. Another recent transaction includes the May 2012 loan guarantee for over $1 billion to Ethiopian Airlines for the export of a new fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

“This transaction, which is our second authorization for sub-Saharan Africa of the calendar year, reflects our continued commitment to supporting exports to Africa,” Ex-Im Bank chairman and president Fred P. Hochberg said in a release. “Moreover, the transaction will ensure Ghana can provide better healthcare to its people and in the process support hundreds of U.S. jobs in a key sector.”

The main exporter for the project, Americaribe, has currently hired three additional employees for the Ridge Hospital Complex project alone. Additionally, a newly registered company, Americaribe Ghana Ltd. was created to oversee and handle the project.

“The Ghana Ridge Hospital is a key project for Americaribe’s business development, boosting our activity and allowing us to create between 15 and 20 new direct jobs in the U.S. during the three years of the contract,” said Americaribe president, Jean-Baptiste Baudin de la Valette.

Baudin de la Valette said that the project will “strengthen our relationship with our consultants and suppliers in the U.S. and will allow them to maintain or create hundreds of technical and specialized jobs.”