14 March 2018

Africa: Electrification of Africa - Over 50 Million People Benefit

"Power Africa" has lit homes in nine countries in the last five years.

Launched in July 2013 by former United States President Barack Obama in Tanzania during his tour of Africa, "Power Africa," the initiative to light up the continent has in the past five years supplied electricity to 50 million people in nine countries.

A recent report says the multi-stakeholder partnership programme between the US and Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Zambia and the private sector, has so far seen investments of 2.4 billion US dollars (1,277 billion FCFA) from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, OPIC.

Making the disclosure, Ray Washburne, OPIC Executive Director - one of about 12 organisations funding Power Africa - said such cooperation has seen electricity taken to people in remote areas. Overall, the initiative is supporting 88 electricity projects with capacity of 7,400 MW, with the goal of providing energy to 60 million Africans by 2030.

"Power Africa" aims at supporting economic growth and development by increasing access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable power in Africa. The African Development Bank, AfDB, has been a key partner in the design and implementation of the initiative.

"The billions of dollars available for investment in the energy sector will translate into actual bulbs in people's homes and electricity necessary to grow small businesses if State utilities run efficiently and effectively.

The policy reforms will facilitate and enhance cross-border energy markets," former AfDB President Donald Kaberuka said in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania on July 1, 2013.

Initiated in 2013 with an initial capital of over 4,300 billion FCFA, Power Africa seeks to raise an additional 26,000 billion FCFA by more than 120 public and private institutions. The main public partners are the European Union, the World Bank Group and the African Development Bank.

To date, over 4,300 MW in additional energy installations have been created as part of the "Power Africa" initiative - whose goal is to increase the energy capacity in Sub-Saharan Africa to 30,000 MW.


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