Power Africa

  • Power Africa is Delivering Results. Read the full Report.

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  • Power Africa’s Beyond the Grid is Increasing Access through Small- Scale Energy Solutions

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  • Learn more about the Power Africa Partners

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  • Infographic: 600 million people, 70% of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa are without electricity

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  • View the Power Africa Photo Gallery

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Electricity 101 - Power Africa
Electricity 101
Young African Leaders Initiative Town Hall
Young African Leaders Initiative Town Hall
LiveAtState: USAID Administrator Shah Discusses U.S.-Africa Partnership
Administrator Shah Discusses U.S.-Africa Partnership

Leveraging Partnerships to Increase Access to Power in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Two out of three sub-Saharan Africans — 600 million people — lack access to electricity, forcing them to spend significant amounts of their income on costly and unhealthy forms of energy, like diesel to run factory generators and smoky and scarce wood for indoor fires for cooking.

On June 30, 2013 in Cape Town, South Africa, President Obama announced Power Africa — an initiative to double the number of people with access to power in Sub-Saharan Africa. Power Africa will achieve this goal by unlocking the substantial wind, solar, hydropower, natural gas, and geothermal resources in the region to enhance energy security, decrease poverty, and advance economic growth.

70% or 600 million people, of the population of sub-Saharan Africa are without electricity

Power Africa works with African governments, the private sector, and other partners such as the World Bank and African Development Bank to add more than 30,000 megawatts (MW) of cleaner, more efficient electricity generation capacity in sub-Saharan Africa. By expanding mini-grid and offgrid solutions and building out power generation, transmission, and distribution structures, Power Africa will also increase electricity access by adding more than 60 million new household and business connections. At the same time, Power Africa will enhance energy resource management capabilities, allowing partner countries to meet their critical energy needs and achieve sustainable, long-term energy security

A New Operating Model: Mobilizing Investments in Energy

The level of funding needed to electrify the continent far outstrips the capacity of African governments and foreign donors. As a result, Power Africa has developed an innovative model based on transactions with private investors and policy support to governments to focus and enable key projects. By leveraging U.S. strengths in energy technology, private sector engagement, and policy and regulatory reform, Power Africa will galvanize collaboration, make quick-impact interventions, and drive systemic reforms to facilitate future investment.

The Power Africa model is part of President Obama’s new approach to development, which builds local capacity and supports innovative ways to make traditional assistance programs more effective and sustainable. Power Africa also is partnering with Uganda and Mozambique on responsible oil and gas resource management.

The Partnerships

The U.S. Government has committed more than $7 billion in financial support and loan guarantees, in addition to the expertise of 12 U.S. government agencies. Power Africa also works closely with development finance partners, such as the African Development Bank and the World Bank, to enhance the availability of energy sector resources.

Power Africa’s financial partners have committed to providing over $20 billion in project finance through direct loans, guarantee facilities, and equity investments.

Andrew M. Herscowitz leads the effort as the Interagency Coordinator for the Power Africa and Trade Africa initiatives. For general Power Africa questions, click here.

Download the Power Africa Overview (pdf 1mb)

U.S. Government Support Capabilities (pdf,349kb)

Last updated: November 17, 2014

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