Power Africa COVID-19 response

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Power Africa’s work before, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic is critical to helping our partner countries respond to the health crisis and to boosting economic recovery.


This short film captures the journey of electrifying a clinic beyond the grid, and highlights why bringing sustainable, clean power to health facilities across sub-Saharan Africa is urgently needed.



Power Africa’s work before, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic is critical to helping our partner countries respond to the health crisis and to boosting economic recovery. Since 2013, Power Africa has helped bring more than 5,500 megawatts (MW) of cleaner and more reliable power generation and first-time electricity to 127.7 million people across sub-Saharan Africa. This newly generated power is now electrifying health facilities and energizing national and sector-level strategies to build back better and stronger than before.

A map of Africa showing which countries received Power Africa Health Facility Electrification grants
Power Africa Grants for Health Facility Electrification and Maternal and Child Health

In sub-Saharan Africa, nearly 60 percent of health care facilities do not have access to electricity; of those that do, only 34 percent of hospitals and 28 percent of health facilities have reliable access. As part of the U.S. Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Power Africa redirected funds to bolster sub-Saharan Africa’s off-grid energy sector and to assess power loads for hospitals, clinics, and critical care facilities.

Power Africa has redirected $7.2 million for COVID-19 response & recovery, investing $4.1 million into grants to off-grid solar energy companies for rural and peri-urban health facility electrification.  




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Graphic showing homes, businesses, clinicsThrough a two-year, $1 million grant funded by USAID, Power Africa and Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) are supporting African governments and their development partners to identify, power, and sustainably maintain health facilities by 2030. Working in coordination with the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the World Health Organization, United Nations Development Program, the Global Vaccine Alliance, the Rockefeller Foundation, and USAID, the program will provide African decision-makers with knowledge and tools to drive faster and more efficient progress toward universal electrification of health facilities. In addition, the Power Africa and SEforALL multilateral health facility electrification energy compact is set to electrify 25,000 health clinics with clean power by 2025.

Through Power Africa and USAID, the United States Government is increasing access to electricity for health centers and communities across Uganda. Improved access to electricity strengthen's Uganda's self-reliance, and capacity to manage COVID-19.



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Power Africa is coordinating efforts with USAID Global Health and leveraging USAID’s private sector engagement hub to design a public-private partnership to electrify and digitally connect thousands of health facilities across sub-Saharan Africa. Through this market-based approach, USAID will leverage private sector investment through USAID’s Global Development Alliance program to design a large-scale health facility electrification program. The collaboration aims to improve health services and assist in COVID-19 response efforts through providing reliable, sustainable and affordable electricity


Blue and white icon of transmission linesPower Africa facilitates investment in electricity transmission infrastructure and modernization of distribution utilities to improve energy access and increase cross-border power trade. These interventions support national government responses to COVID-19 by helping utilities keep medical facilities, homes, and essential services electrified throughout the crisis.


Power Africa works with the Zanzibar Electricity Corporation to reduce commercial losses, support smart engineering solutions to reduce outages, and ensure reliable and stable power supply to 131 private and 161 state-owned health care facilities. Power Africa is also optimizing the power system supply for more than 210,000 customers in Zanzibar. 


Power Africa works with the Ethiopia Electric Utility in the Addis Ababa and Fin Fine regions, home to nearly 200 health care facilities, to improve utility operations, and optimize the power system for customers through uninterrupted supply


Power Africa works with Kenya Power to improve utility operations and provide a reliable power supply to more than 673 active health care facilities and 2.4 million customers in the Nairobi Region.


Power Africa supported the procurement of a management services contractor for the Liberia Electricity Corporation. The new operators have greatly improved the availability and reliability of electricity and connected Monrovia’s Central Medical Store to the grid. Previously, the Medical Store relied on USAID Health funds to buy expensive generator fuel to keep vaccines cool. 



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Power Africa is utilizing one of its most valuable assets − a network of technical experts and advisors located throughout sub-Saharan Africa − to provide demand-driven assistance to companies, investors, and industry associations aimed at ensuring business continuity, mobilizing relief funding, and advocating for government policies that recognize energy access as an essential service. Through our in-country teams, Power Africa continues to support African governments with power sector planning that prioritizes an optimal generation mix, strong distribution and transmission infrastructure, and widely available off-grid solutions.


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In Nigeria and Kenya, Power Africa advisors worked with local associations to successfully advocate for solar home system companies to be deemed essential services, which allowed continued sales and installations of off-grid energy solutions for rural clinics, businesses, and homes. Power Africa partnered with local governments to identify communities where solar home systems (SHS) would have the greatest impact, and to develop a plan for equitable distribution of units at the least cost. Power Africa continues to support Nigeria’s economic recovery by improving access to low-interest capital to help SHS providers rapidly expand their businesses.


Through Power Africa and USAID, the United States Government is bolstering electricity transmission and distribution networks across sub-Saharan Africa. Improved access to electricity strengthen's our partner countries' self-reliance and capacity to manage COVID-19.



These information sheets aim to serve as a quick reference for off-grid energy companies operating in sub-Saharan Africa with general information to supplement in-country guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.


Last updated: March 17, 2022

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