Sub-Saharan Africa, with a population of 600 million, has minimal access to power. Only 30 percent of the population has access to electricity while remaining 70 percent lives without. Power Africa is a new initiative by United States that was launched by President Barack Obama in Tanzania during his visit to Africa in June 2013.
The main aim of the Power Africa energy initiative is to ensure sustainable and reliable power to support economic growth and development. The major stakeholders in the partnership are the U.S. and African private sectors but the partnership also comprises of the governments of the United States, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Liberia and Nigeria. The African Development Bank Group has played a key role in designing and implementing this initiative.
Power Africa aims to work closely with different African governments to generate more than 30,000 megawatts of clean, efficient electrical energy to serve more than 60 million Africans. The U.S. government will finance $7 billion in the investments while U.S. companies will be investing $14 billion. The World Bank and other private sources will add $12 billion.
Power Africa will leverage private-sector investments to generate more than 8,000 megawatts of electricity. Some of the major investments have come from big,private-sector organizations such as General Electric, Symbion Power, Husk Power Systems andAldwych International, to name a few. The African Finance Corporation will invest $250 million to boost the power sectors of Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria.
Apart from a few priority partnerships, other pieces of the collaboration include:
• GE will invest $2 billion by 2018 to boost worker skills, infrastructure and access to energy.
• Citibank will contribute $2.5 billion.
• The U.S. Export-Import Bank will source $5 billion.
• The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will contribute $185 million for the technical development of the energy sector.
This strategic move of the United States government will help in the economic development of Sub-Saharan Africa and will provide access to sustainable electricity to African citizens. It will boost the energy sector of Africa and help nations advance their technological infrastructures so they can meet their energy needs in sustainable and efficient ways.
Power Africa strives to increase the cross-border energy trade and will help Africa to meet its power needs and achieve energy security. It will provide access to energy to numerous Africans living in rural areas.
AGILE International looks forward to working with these initiatives as we work to strengthen the economic power of women in Western Africa.