World Bank (Washington, DC)

5 August 2014

Africa: World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim Says Will Support U.S. Power Africa Initiative

press release

The following are selected quotes from World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim when he made opening remarks at the "Powering Africa: Leading Developments in Infrastructure" session during the U.S. - Africa Business Forum:

"Africa has had two decades of very strong economic growth. But the encouraging growth story will only continue if the continent tackles its problem of infrastructure. Our studies show that the poor state of the infrastructure in Sub Saharan Africa, including electricity, water, roads, and ICT cuts countries' economic growth by two percentage points every year. And it reduces business productivity by as much as 40 percent. These losses take an enormous human toll -- in addition to taking a toll on economic growth."

"We think that the U.S. Power Africa initiative will play an extremely important role in achieving the goal of providing electricity for Africa. So today I'm very pleased to announce that the World Bank Group, following President Obama's lead, will support Power Africa by committing $5 billion in direct financing, investment guarantees, and advisory services for project preparation in Power Africa's six initial partner countries. That's Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, and Tanzania. The U.S. Government and the World Bank Group are working now on specific tasks and milestones for projects that if implemented would achieve one quarter of Power Africa's goal of generating 10,000 megawatts of new power in Sub Saharan Africa."

"We should never, ever doubt the potential of Africa not only to solve its problems but to grow in a way that will boost up the entire world. You know, it was the developing countries during 2008 to 2013 that accounted for more than half of global growth. We at the World Bank Group believe in Africa."

"The opportunities are enormous. Just imagine an investment in electricity in Burkina Faso that will not only provide you with very strong returns but will reduce the price and increase the access to electricity for the people of Burkina Faso. We know we can do it. Together with all of you we look forward to the next meeting of the United States Government and African leaders when we can talk about the great things that we've accomplished for our companies and on behalf of the people of Africa."

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