- Where We Work
- Interactive Project Map
- Afghanistan and Pakistan
- Power Africa
- President in Africa
- Burkina Faso
- Central Africa Regional
- Central African Republic
- Côte d'Ivoire
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- East Africa Regional
- Republic of the Congo
- Sahel Regional
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- South Sudan
- Southern Africa Regional
- West Africa Regional
- Europe and Eurasia
- Latin America and the Caribbean
- Middle East
- Mission Directory
With over 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa lacking access to electricity, the challenge is enormous. Without electrical power, important benefits of modern life are beyond reach: industry cannot grow, students cannot study at nighttime in the dark, medicine and food cannot be refrigerated, and doctors cannot use the equipment often needed to save lives. According to the International Energy Agency, sub-Saharan Africa needs more than $300 billion in investments to achieve universal electricity access by 2030 – far beyond the capacity of any traditional development program.
At the same time, the region has vast reserves of natural resources, including natural gas, geothermal, hydro, wind and solar. And it has some of the fastest growing economies in the world. Sub-Saharan Africa’s plentiful energy resources include natural gas discoveries off the coasts of Tanzania and Mozambique and large production levels in Nigeria. The region has four percent of the world’s verified reserves of natural gas, and 10 percent of the world’s unexploited potential for hydro power. Geothermal resources in the Rift Valley of Ethiopia and Kenya have the potential to provide up to 15,000 MW of power. Tapping into these plentiful, sustainable resources will advance efforts to mitigate climate change impacts; promote economic development; and improve education and healthcare.
President Obama's Video Message to the AGOA Forum
Power Africa will use a broad-based, value-added approach that seeks to leverage U.S. strengths in energy technologies, private sector transactions, and policy and regulatory reform to address gaps in Africa’s energy sector.
A transaction-centered approach will provide host governments, the private sector, and donors with incentives to galvanize collaboration, provide near-term results, and drive systemic reforms that will facilitate future investment.
The U.S. government will work to help its partners in Africa:
- Add more than 10,000 MWs of cleaner and more efficient electric generation capacity;
- Enable new electricity access for up to 20 million households and increase the reliability of the electricity supply to commerce and industry through combined grid, off-grid, and mini-grid solutions;
- Increase the number of countries participating in the regional cross-border energy trade to at least ten; and,
- Enhance the energy resource management capabilities of selected countries; allowing them to meet their critical energy needs and achieve greater energy security.
For the first time, a Presidential Initiative will be led from the field, with the Power Africa and Trade Africa offices located at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. Andrew M. Herscowitz leads the effort as the Interagency Coordinator for the Power Africa and Trade Africa initiatives. To contact country-specific transaction advisors click here. For general Power Africa questions, click here.
Last updated: December 04, 2013