Energy for Development

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Virtual Classroom: Energy for Development

Access to reliable energy is crucial to development. Without power, industry cannot operate, students cannot study at night, medicine and food cannot be refrigerated, and doctors cannot use the equipment often needed to save lives.

Today, more than 600 million Africans lack access to electricity, which is why President Obama launched Power Africa, an initiative that will double access to electricity on the continent. Through Power Africa, the U.S. Government will reduce poverty and increase economic growth by working with African and other international partners – private sector and government -- to stimulate private investment in electricity, improve power generation and transmission capacity, promote clean-energy solutions, and support innovative mini-grid and off-grid solutions. Read more at



“Access to electricity is fundamental to opportunity in this age. It’s the light that children study by; the energy that allows an idea to be transformed into a real business. It’s the lifeline for families to meet their most basic needs. And it’s the connection that’s needed to plug Africa into the grid of the global economy.”
- President Barack Obama, Remarks at University of Cape Town, South Africa, June 30, 2013

"A light where currently there is darkness -- the energy to lift people out of poverty -- that's what opportunity looks like… So this is America's vision: a partnership with Africa for growth, and the potential for every citizen, not just a few at the top."


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Last updated: July 12, 2021

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