Coordinator Update

Speeches Shim

During a very productive month of March, Power Africa expanded our growing team through a new partnership agreement with the Government of Canada, pledged to bolster Kenya’s geothermal goals, and released a new resource on power project financing.

By Andrew M. Herscowitz

Dear Partners,

During a very productive month of March, Power Africa expanded our growing team through a new partnership agreement with the Government of Canada, pledged to bolster Kenya’s geothermal goals, and released a new resource on power project financing.

We also hosted the African launch of the Power Africa Roadmap and Power Africa Tracking Tool (PATT). The PATT app has now been downloaded nearly 1,000 times. We’d love to hear how it’s helping you!

Click here for more highlights from the past month.

Power Africa signs MOU with Government of Canada

On March 11, Power Africa and the Government of Canada, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support efforts to increase sustainable energy access in sub-Saharan Africa. USAID Administrator Gayle Smith signed on behalf of the USG/Power Africa and Minister of International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau signed on behalf of Canada. Intended areas of cooperation include: sharing information and exploring opportunities to collaborate in investments in multilateral financing and project preparation facilities; coordinating commitments under the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative; expanding the number of Canadian transaction advisors, outreach to Canadian companies; and support to gender inclusive growth in the power sector. Read the White House Fact Sheet for more on the U.S.-Canada relationship, including the Power Africa partnership.

African Launch of the Power Africa Roadmap

On March 16, along with the nine other Power Africa partners, including the Ambassadors, Deputy Chiefs of Mission or Heads of Office from Norway, Sweden, DfID, the EU, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Canada and dozens of other public and private sector partners, we launched Power Africa’s Roadmap on the continent. We received extensive positive press, including on CNBC Africa. But most importantly, the feedback on the Roadmap from our partners on the ground was universally positive. And getting all those partners' respective flags together was no easy feat!

New Power Africa Resource to Facilitate Project Financing

We’re excited to share the Commercial Law Development Program’s second handbook in Power Africa’s Understanding series, titled Understanding Power Project Financing. The new book is designed to help Power Africa partners master the expansive, and often confusing, universe of financing options for power project development. The first book in this series is the popular Understanding Power Purchase Agreements handbook. With more than 10,000 copies in print and thousands more downloaded online, this guide is considered by power sector experts as one of the most vital resources to help drive private investment in power projects in Africa. A French-language version of Understanding Power Purchase Agreements was released in December 2015 at COP 21 in Paris.

Power Africa Partnership with Kenya Electricity and Generation Company (KenGen)

U.S. Ambassador Robert Godec and the KenGen Managing Director & CEO Albert Mugo signed the Power Africa-KenGen Cooperation Framework on March 23. The partnership will help KenGen meet its development goals and will better align KenGen's programs across all U.S. Government agencies. During a subsequent media Q&A, Ambassador Godec underscored how Power Africa will harness private capital to achieve Kenya’s power generation goals.

Beyond the Grid (BTG) Projects Well Underway in Liberia

Construction of the USAID Liberia’s remaining three pilot BTG projects with a total capacity of 1.2 MW targeting at least 3,000 rural connections is in progress. The Mein River hydro project is under construction until 2018; the Kwendin biomass project is under construction until July 2016; and the Sorlumba crude palm oil project is under construction until May 2016.

US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) Grants to Power Projects in Kenya

The USTDA Board approved a grant to the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) for a proposed 1.5 MW mini-grid project that will be implemented by US company, Renewvia Energy. Four other Kenya project proposals are under evaluation.

USTDA Reverse Trade Mission on Mid-Stream Gas and Gas-to-Power

USTDA is planning a reverse trade mission for buyers looking for short-term procurements. The mission will focus on Nigeria and South Africa. USTDA is seeking 13 to 15 nominations from the public and private sectors in each country. Additionally, the USTDA Board has approved a grant for a gas-to-power project with Power Africa partner Greenmax. The 20 MW project has been shortlisted by Ikeja DisCo, with the PPA signing expected in March. Finally, USTDA received approval for a grant to Spark Meter for its metering pilot with the Port Harcourt DisCo. The metering pilot will complement Power Africa support to distribution companies for turnaround support.

US African Development Foundation’s (USADF) Off-Grid Energy Challenge

USADF is still conducting its current round for the Off-Grid Energy Challenge. USADF plans to sponsor grantees to attend a conference in Accra in April, followed by workshops where the participants will outline the lessons learned from the conference and discuss financing.

Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) Trip to Senegal

OPIC CEO and President Elizabeth Littlefield visited Senegal with CEOs of several major power sector investors in Africa including GE, Contour Global, and Black Rhino. They met with the President of Senegal and discussed opportunities for OPIC investment and support. OPIC also pledged to double its investment in Senegal, and these investments will align with the Government of Senegal’s economic priorities. See photos of the visit in the Power Africa Gallery.

Global LEAP releases Off-Grid Appliance Report

As many of our partners continue to focus on further developing the off-grid appliance market so that people living off-the-grid can live a life similar to those living on-the-grid, we wanted to share an outstanding report that Global LEAP, a Power Africa-supported effort through the U.S. Department of Energy and the Clean Energy Ministerial, recently released titled The State of the Off-Grid Appliance Market.

Grid Roll-Out in Kenya

Kenya’s Last Mile Connectivity Project (LMCP) is scheduled to launch in April. Power Africa partner African Development Bank (AfDB), the main the project financier, has given the Kenyan Government and Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) the green light to engage with winning contractors on the US$150.0 million project. As part of the project, more than 5,000 existing distribution transformers will be upgraded through extension of the low-voltage network, which entails construction of 12,000 kilometers of distribution lines. The launch of the LMCP will ensure KPLC’s ability to meet its goal of one million new connections per year, with a special emphasis on rural and peri-urban areas of Kenya.

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) to Assist the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation

NRECA has submitted the scope of work for a study requested by the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation on renewable energy systems that includes: (i) a feasibility study for un-electrified villages; (ii) run-of-river small hydro projects; (iii) diesel mini-grid feasibility analysis; (iv) irrigation pumping in off-grid areas to promote agriculture; and (v) grid/off-grid planning assistance to the Universal Electricity Access Project.

As always, there’s much, much more that Power Africa and partners are doing to increase access to electricity across the continent, but these are the highlights. Is there something you’re doing that we’ve missed? Please let us know so we can share your work.

I hope you have a great April, and I look forward to seeing many of you in Washington for  the World Bank Spring Meetings.



Last updated: June 07, 2016

Share This Page