World Bank Group Commits US$ 5 Billion to Boost Electricity Generation in Six African Countries

The World Bank Group today committed $5 billion in new technical and financial support for energy projects in six African countries-- Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, and Tanzania—which have partnered with President Obama’s Power Africa initiative. Making the announcement on the second day of the 1st US-Africa Summit, World Bank Group President, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, said the new financial commitment was urgently needed

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World Bank Group President, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, said the new financial commitment was urgently needed to generate more electricity for the people of Africa, 600 million of whom have no access to electricity

U.S. Energy Investment in Africa Starts to Make Headway

As Washington hosts the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit this week, an ambitious but low-profile energy programme announced by President Barack Obama in June 2013 is set to move back into the spotlight. Power Africa is a U.S. government-led initiative around two-thirds funded by the private sector that aims to double the number of people with access to power in sub-Saharan Africa by 2018, connecting 20 million new customers.

President Obama addresses the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit Business Forum on August 5, 2014.

Remarks Delivered by Ghanaian President John Mahama and Millennium Challenge Corporation CEO Dana Hyde At the Signing of the Ghana Power Compact

Ghana Power Compact Signing Ceremony: On August 5, 2014, in a ceremony at the U.S. Department of State, MCC signed a .2 million compact with the Government of Ghana to transform the country’s power sector by investing in projects focused on distribution, energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Powering Africa - A Successful Year But Only a Beginning

Remarks delivered by Paul Hinks, CEO of Symbion Power LLC, to the 'Power Africa' luncheon sponsored by the Corporate Council on Africa.

Just over a year ago, on a bright sunny day I stood at a power plant in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania listening to President Obama tell the world about the Power Africa initiative, an ambitious program with bi-partisan support in Congress. I listened very carefully to his speech as he promised to “bring electricity to 20 million new homes and businesses and to double access to electricity in Africa”

Citi to Source $2.5 Billion to "Power Africa"

Citi has pledged to source $2.5 billion in incremental capital to improve access to electricity for millions of people across Africa as part of the “Power Africa” initiative. Power Africa is a multi-stakeholder partnership between the U.S. Government, governments of several African countries and other public and private sector entities, working to accelerate investment in Africa’s power sector over the next several years.

'Massive Demand' for Electricity Across Africa Offers Opportunities for U.S. Firms

Symbion Power CEO Paul Hinks (left) escorting President Obama at the Ubungo Power Plant along with GE Africa CEO Jay Ireland and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete.

With 'user-friendly' support from U.S. government agencies like the Export Import Bank, American companies can contribute to and benefit from the expansion taking place in Africa's energy sector. That is the view of Paul Hinks, CEO of the U.S.-based engineering firm Symbion Power, a lead participant in President Obama's Power Africa Initiative.

Will 'Power Africa' Help Grow Sustainable Energy?

Energy is recognised as a priority issue in the growing United States partnership with Africa, and is among the key themes of the U.S.-Africa Business Forum being organised as an important core event of next week's U.S. Africa Leaders Summit in Washington. While recognising the role that this emerging initiative plays in elevating U.S. dialogue with Africa, a valid question could be asked about the extent to which it contributes to sustainable energy alternatives in Africa. During the ministerial, which focused on "Catalysing Sustainable Energy Growth in Africa", U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz emphasised energy infrastructure as "a critical enabler" for economic development.

U.S Initiative Aims to Create 20 Million Power Connections in Africa

The U.S. government is investing more than $1 billion to create about 20 million new electricity connections in sub-Saharan Africa as part of its "Beyond the Grid" Initiative. The African continent has the world's lowest rates of electrification, a fact that caught the attention of U.S. President Barack Obama when he visited the continent last year.

Agility, Bankability and Capacity - 'ABCs' of Participating in the Power Africa Initiative

Power Africa is the U.S. Government’s initiative to help increase access to power on the African continent by encouraging government and private sector partnerships. The initiative is focused on adding more than 10,000 megawatts (MW) of clean, efficient electricity generation capacity in six countries at this stage — Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania.

Bringing 'Power Africa' from Pledges to Projects

There is no debate that lack of access to energy is one of the greatest challenges facing Africa. Electricity is a prerequisite for large scale manufacturing and job creation. Countries like Uganda, Malawi, Sierra Leone provide less than eight percent of their populations with electricity, and demand across the continent is growing by double digits every year.

U.S. Debating 'Historic' Support for Off-Grid Electricity in Africa

Pressure is building for Washington, DC lawmakers to pass a bill that would funnel billions of dollars of U.S. investment into strengthening Africa's electricity production and distribution capabilities, and could offer broad new support for off-grid opportunities.

'Electrify Africa' Legislation Advances in U.S. Congress

Legislation to improve access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa won passage in the U.S. House of Representatives in early May with bipartisan backing. Sponsored by International Relations Committee chair Ed Royce (Republican-California) and 117 co-sponsors, the bill calls for a comprehensive U.S. government approach, at no cost to American taxpayers. Similar legislation is pending in the Senate.

Power Africa Benefits African Development and U.S. Economy

Stephen Hayes

In his regular blog for U.S. News and World Report, Corporate Council on Africa President and CEO Stephen Hayes says Power Africa "addresses perhaps the most critical need for African development." Hayes also calls on President Obama "to honor his commitment to developing Africa's power sector."

Obama Plan to Electrify Africa Offers a "New Model" of Aid

During an eight-day trip to Africa, President Barack Obama unveiled an ambitious plan to improve access to electricity across the continent, a move the White House says is designed to lift Sub-Saharan Africa out of poverty and help the region develop a stable middle class.

White House

While the initiative may appear to be a generous increase in U.S. government aid to the continent, analysts suggest that it is perhaps more noteworthy as a change in the paradigm of how the United States assists developing nations.

Electrifying Africa - But At What Cost to Africans?

A small solar panel provides power to this house in Nimule, South Sudan.

As children throughout the United States head back to school, it's a good time to remember that schoolchildren throughout Africa often attend schools with no electricity. In areas that do have the utility, frequent power outages are a constant reminder of the need for dependable access to electricity. In June, U.S. policymakers announced two initiatives aimed at increasing electricity production in Africa. President Obama launched Power Africa, an initiative that makes a $7-billion U.S. commitment to the energy sector in six African countries.

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GE To Invest $2 Billion in Africa by 2018

GE (NYSE: GE) announced today that it will invest $2 billion in facility development, skills training, and sustainability initiatives across Africa by 2018. GE made the announcement in advance of President Obama’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, where GE is hosting African and global government officials, policy experts, NGOs, entrepreneurs and business leaders for a conference on investment, infrastructure, and innovation in Africa.

GE Partners with the Millennium Challenge Corporation to Provide $500 Million in Financing to Ghana 1000 Project

As part of efforts to address the shortfall in Ghana's public power supply, GE (NYSE: GE) announced today that it has partnered with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to provide $500 million in financing to support development of the Ghana 1000 project in western Ghana. The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is an innovative and independent U.S. foreign aid agency that is championing a global campaign against poverty. The announcement was made ahead of President Obama's U.S.-Africa Leaders' Summit.

Ghana Power Compact Signing Ceremony: On August 5, 2014, in a ceremony at the U.S. Department of State, MCC signed a .2 million compact with the Government of Ghana to transform the country’s power sector by investing in projects focused on distribution, energy efficiency and renewable energy.

GE, USADF and USAID Launch Off-Grid Energy Challenge in Six Countries

To support off-grid energy solutions, the U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have teamed up with GE Africa (NYSE: GE) to launch the Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge. The three-year initiative will award 25 or more grants of up to $100,000 each to African companies and organizations providing off-grid solutions that deploy renewable resources and power economic activities.

GE Reports

The New Africa Growth Story: Financing Infrastructure


Jay Ireland, CEO of GE Africa, on Private Public Partnerships in Africa

For GE, Africa's Infrastructural Needs Represent Business Opportunity - Jay Ireland

General Electric (GE) had a high-profile role in the PowerAfrica initiative launched during President Barack Obama's Africa trip in June and has announced projects in several countries beyond the three where GE has been involved for a number of years - South Africa, Angola and Nigeria.

Jay Ireland, president and chief executive of GE Africa, was named "International Business Leader of the Year" by African Investor magazine, reflecting his increased profile as the company's involvement expands. Just before the award was announced during the annual IMF/World Bank meetings in Washington, DC, Ireland was interviewed earlier this month at the U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Chicago.Read more

Power Sector is Ready for 'Stampede' of Investment - General Electric

The U.S.-based multinational General Electric, which points to a 100-year record of involvement in Africa, is one of the companies participating in the Power Africa initiative, announced during President Obama's Africa visit, designed to double access to electricity across sub Saharan Africa. GE is expanding operations in several places, perhaps most aggressively in Nigeria. Last year, GE and the Federal Government of Nigeria signed three Memorandum of Understanding agreements (MOUs) outlining cooperation in the energy, healthcare and rail transportation sectors. Ground-breaking for a U.S.$250 million manufacturing facility in the port city of Calabar.

Lazarus Angbazo, President and CEO of GE Nigeria, discussed the company's growth strategy in an interview with Reed Kramer in Abuja.

The United States and Ethiopia convened the U.S.-Africa Energy Ministerial in Addis Ababa June 3-4, with a focus on '“Catalyzing Sustainable Energy Growth in Africa'. The Ministerial was designed to showcase African leadership in energy development, explore strategies and effective practices across Africa and the United States for accelerating development of clean energy sources and adoption of energy efficient technologies, review best practices in oil and gas resource development, and highlight progress on the President Obama’s Power Africa Initiative.

Power Africa's Beyond the Grid Increasing Access through Small- Scale Energy Solutions

The U.S. Government is formally launching an innovative framework under President Obama's Power Africa initiative to increase energy access for underserved populations across sub-Saharan Africa. Read More

Private Capital Fuels Power Production - U.S. Energy Secretary Moniz

The Obama administration has a 'very strong focus' on developing electricity infrastructure across Africa, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in an AllAfrica interview before traveling to Algeria and Ethiopia, where he cohosted the U.S.-Africa Energy Ministerial. With the Power Africa Initiative announced by President Obama in June 2013, the government is supporting various types of electricity generation - hydrocarbon, solar, hydro, geothermal. "We see both need and an opportunity for U.S. and African business" he said.Read more >>

Hydropower projects like the Tekeze Dam are expected to go a long way in providing Ethiopia's energy needs.

Leadership Africa USA Calls for Follow Up After U.S.-Africa Energy Ministerial

Leadership Africa USA announced the successful completion of the June 3-4, 2014 U.S.-Africa Energy Ministerial which was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. “We are especially proud of the fact that our team was asked to play a leading role in pulling key elements of the AEM together, and that we delivered”, commented the group’s President, Walker Williams. Leadership Africa USA provided program development support, while managing marketing, logistics, sponsorship and ensuring high level private sector participation in this historic event that welcomed well over 600 participants.

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Symbion Power LLC, an engineering contractor, engages in the design, engineering, procurement, and construction of electrical infrastructure projects. Its projects include transmission or transmission and distribution lines, air and gas insulated substations, and power plants in the United States, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The company also owns and operates a power plant in Tanzania for the generation of electricity. In addition, it constructs and operates training schools to help develop a skilled local workforce capable of constructing and installing an electrical power infrastructure in northern Iraq; Tanzania; and Kabul, Afghanistan. Symbion Power LLC was founded in 2000 and is based in Washington, District of Columbia with additional offices and subsidiaries in Delaware; Limassol, Cyprus; Cape Town, South Africa; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Baghdad, Iraq; Erbil, Kurdistan; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; and Dar es Salaam and Morogoro, Tanzania.

Rwanda Awards 50MW Methane Gas-to-Electricity Project on Lake Kivu to U.S. Symbion Power

During the U.S. Africa Head of State Summit this week in Washington, D.C., the Government of Rwanda’s Energy Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA) awarded Symbion Power a 50 megawatt Independent Power Production (IPP) project using methane gas from Lake Kivu, it was announced today by Paul Hinks, Chief Executive Officer, Symbion Power. Symbion will build, own and operate a 50 MW power station by constructing gas extraction facilities to lift, separate, and process methane gas, which is dissolved in the deep waters of Lake Kivu

(L to R) Rwanda's President Paul Kagame, USAID Administrator, Dr. Rajiv Shah, Symbion Power CEO, Paul Hinks at the White House Africa Heads of State Dinner

U.S. and Nigerian Companies Join Forces to Launch Nigeria's First End-to-End Transmission Sector Company

Symbion Power, one of the leading private sector partners in President Barack Obama’s Power Africa initiative has joined forces with Jyoti Americas, a global leader in the execution of turnkey power projects, and Iroko Capital Partners, a Nigerian alternative asset manager and financial advisory firm, to establish Nigeria’s first full service transmission solutions company, Western Sahara Transmission Company, Ltd. it was jointly announced today by the partner companies. Western Sahara will build Nigeria’s first state of the art transmission tower manufacturing facility with the capacity to produce 50,000 tons of galvanized steel lattice transmission towers per year that will displace the nation’s current reliance on expensive imports from other countries. The company will be engaged in the entire power delivery value chain (including design, engineering, tower testing, tower manufacturing and construction), and will be fully equipped to handle transmission and distribution projects of any scale.

Symbion Power Plant - Ubungo, Tanzania.

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The overarching objective of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group is to spur sustainable economic development and social progress in its regional member countries (RMCs), thus contributing to poverty reduction.The Bank Group achieves this obective by mobilizing and allocating resources for investment in RMCs; and providing policy advice and technical assistance to support development efforts. Over the years, the Bank Group has continued to pursue its institutional reforms aimed at maximizing its development effectiveness and the quality of its operations, supporting efforts by its regional member countries and building their capacity to strengthen their economies. The Bank has also consolidated its role as the continent's premier development finance institution, a knowledge and research centre and the preeminent voice for African development issues. For purposes of accountability and efficient management, the Bank has adopted a structure comprising six vice presidential complexes. More on AfDB

AfDB, Anchor Partner of Power Africa - Enhanced Partnership Between the US and AfDB for Power Africa Announced at the US-Africa Summit

As part of the US-African Leaders Summit, on Tuesday, August 5, 2014, African Development Bank (AfDB) Group President, Donald Kaberuka, reaffirmed the AfDB's support to advance the Power Africa initiative, with a commitment of $3 billion over a 5-year period. This support was originally announced by the AfDB, as an anchor Power Africa partner on the continent, in July 2013. In 2013 only, AfDB interventions related to focus countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania) amounted to over $600 million.

Africa Launch of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) - AfDB Annual Meeting 2014, Kigali, Rwanda, 19 May 2014. Speakers Dr. Donald Kaberuka, President of AfDB Group; Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, Special Rep of the Secretary General on SE4ALL; H.E. Prof. Silas Lwakabamba, Minister of Infrastructure, Government of Rwanda; Dr. Elham Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure, African Union Commission; Mr. Adnan Amin, Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

Donald Kaberuka, President, African Development Bank.

AfDB Envisages the Power of ICT for Africa's Transformation

The African Development Bank (AfDB) highlighted Information Communication Technology (ICT) as a vital tool that will contribute to the economic transformation of African economies. According to Mthuli Ncube, the Chief Economist and Vice-President of the AfDB, many African countries have embraced ICT for socio-economic development, an important step towards achieving knowledge-based society. He was speaking on Monday, May 19 at a session dubbed "Technology 4 Development" at the Bank's 49th Annual Meetings in the Rwandan capital, Kigali. "We have seen potential and an opportunity in technology driven entrepreneurship across Africa especially among young people. ICTs are playing a significant role in transforming African economies," Ncube stated.

Africa's Premier Development Bank Reflects On How Far It Has Come and Looks Ahead to the Next 50 Years

The African Development Bank's (AfDB) golden jubilee was formally kicked off in Tunis on Tuesday, April 22. The occasion of the Bank's 50th anniversary was acknowledged by invited speakers as a crucial moment for the institution to reflect on how far it has come since it was formed a half century ago, as it positions itself for the 50 years ahead.

Strong Partnership Will Boost Power Generation in Africa, Officials Say

The African Development Bank (AfDB) together with its partners in power generation in Africa have concurred that strong partnership will realise the Power Africa initiative. The remarks were made during the "Power Africa Roundtable" on Wednesday, May 21, at the Bank's Annual Meetings in Kigali. The session focused on what could be the biggest challenges investors and financiers face when looking to invest in power projects in Africa. Alex Rugamba, the Director of the Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department at AfDB, said the Bank was proud to be part of the Power Africa initiative, which was unveiled on June 30, 2013 in Cape Town, South Africa, by US President Barack Obama. The initiative aims to double the number of people with access to power in Sub-Saharan Africa.

AfDB Affirms Its Support for Power Africa, With a Commitment of More Than Us $600 Million

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is proud to be an anchor partner of Power Africa, a five-year United States of America Presidential initiative aimed at supporting economic growth and development by doubling access to power in Sub-Saharan Africa. In fact, the Bank's work with the US Government on African development issues spans four decades. The AfDB's contributions to Power Africa run broad and deep, including contributions to the initiative's focus countries in the form of investments, support for policy reforms, advisory services and guarantees.

Zambia Signs Energy Sector Agreement for Itezhi Tezhi Power Generation Project

AfDB and Zambian Government Sign US $55-Million Loan Agreement for Itezhi-Tezhi Hydropower Project

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is proud to be an anchor partner of Power Africa, a five-year United States of America Presidential initiative aimed at supporting economic growth and development by doubling access to power in Sub-Saharan Africa. In fact, the Bank's work with the US Government on African development issues spans four decades. The AfDB's contributions to Power Africa run broad and deep, including contributions to the initiative's focus countries in the form of investments, support for policy reforms, advisory services and guarantees.



Symbion Power

U.S.-Africa Energy Ties

During his visit to three African countries, President Barack Obama announced an initiative aiming to double access to electricity across in Sub Saharan Africa. A U.S.$7 billion commitment to 'Power Africa' from the U.S. government over the next five years is to be supplemented by more than U.S.$9 billion in leveraged private investments to support projects in an initial set of partner countries, including Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Mozambique. Legislation introduced in the U.S. Congress supports the same electrification goal.
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Energy has been a long-standing cornerstone of U.S.-Africa relations, with oil at the center. For decades, Africa supplied 15 percent of U.S. petroleum imports, and that percentage climbed above 20 percent in 2006. Today Africa provides less than five percent of oil imports due largely to rising U.S. shale oil production. But American oil companies continue to have major investments in many African countries - not only giants like ExxonMobil and Chevron but also numerous smaller firms - and oil-related business activity by U.S. firms is increasing as more and more nations on the continent join the oil- and gas-producer ranks.

Electricity has now became a top-tier focus of U.S.-Africa policy. During a three-nation African trip in June-July 2013, President Barack Obama announced an initiative aiming to double access to electricity across in sub Saharan Africa.

A U.S.$7 billion commitment to Power Africa by the U.S. government over the next five years has attracted commitments of more than U.S.$14 billion in leveraged private financing to support projects in an initial set of six partner countries - Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda. Legislation introduced in the U.S. Congress supports the electrification goal, and the 'Electrify Africa' bill passed the House in May 2014 with bipartisan backing.

To promote broad-based ties related to Africa's energy needs and U.S. commercial opportunities, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz convened a two-day U.S.-Africa Energy Ministerial in Addis Ababa with his Ethiopian counterpart of African energy ministers, civil society and development organizations, researchers and some 30 U.S. companies in the petroleum and energy sectors. The June 3-4 meeting showcased African and U.S. energy policies and reviewed best practices.

This Briefing provides interviews, news reports, data and multimedia resources examining energy ties and key issues affecting United States ties with Africa in the energy sphere, with a special emphasis on Power Africa a year after the initiative was launched.

Content in this report is updated regularly.

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