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Power Africa

Power Africa was launched in Djibouti in 2015 following a direct request from the President of Djibouti. Djibouti’s electricity costs are double the African average, with only half of the population having access to electricity. Demand is projected to double within the next few years.  USAID is implementing two projects: the Power Africa Transaction and Reform Program (PATRP), and the East Africa Geothermal Partnership (EAGP).  Through PATRP, USAID embedded a Transaction Advisor (TA) at the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (MERN) who provided technical assistance for identifying and structuring energy transactions and moving them towards financial closure.  EAGP supports the nascent Djibouti Office for Geothermal Development (ODDEG) with capacity building and technical assistance.  The energy sector is comprised of a weak ministry and a strong electricity utility which has a monopoly for distribution and transmission and is the sole off-taker from any Independent power producer (IPPs) projects.

Under PATRP, USAID has provided technical assistance to the Ministry of Energy (MERN to set up fifteen (15) potential energy projects.  On the policy side, the Power Africa team helped develop regulations for two important new laws: the Independent Power Producer (IPP) and the Energy Efficiency laws.  The regulations are necessary to successfully implement the laws and to improve the enabling environment for private sector investment.

Through Power Africa funding, EAGP has helped increase the capacity of the geothermal unit of ODDEG to successfully drill and establish new geothermal sites through classroom and on the job trainings for its staff.  Power Africa has also provided assistance to design a program of re-drilling existing geothermal wells at Lake Assal.  To ensure accessibility of reliable data and documentation, it also started an exercise to centralize geothermal data, currently scattered throughout different ministries, and recommended the creation of a repository database at ODDEG.

Two high-level exchanges were also arranged for Djibouti delegations. Officials from MERN, ODDEG, and the electricity utility (EDD) met with private sector companies in the U.S to gain insights on boosting private sector investment in the energy sector.

Last updated: October 29, 2019

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