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.
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.
CONVENING DONOR EFFORTS TO ELECTRIFY HEALTH FACILITIES
Through 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.
INITIATING LARGE-SCALE HEALTH FACILITY ELECTRIFICATION
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
STRENGTHENING POWER GRIDS
Power 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.
PROVIDING ON-THE-GROUND EXPERTISE AND LEADERSHIP
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.
POWERING HEALTH BEYOND THE GRID
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.