POWER AFRICA POWERING HEALTH

Power Africa collaborates with African governments, our partners, and the private sector to expand access to electricity to health facilities across sub-Saharan Africa. Together, we are powering health.

The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the stark reality that many health facilities in sub-Saharan Africa do not have reliable electricity. According to the World Health Organization only 28 percent of health facilities in sub-Saharan Africa have access to affordable, reliable power

Power Africa responded to the pandemic quickly by reprioritizing more than $8.2 million from existing programs to electrify health facilities, improve the financial viability of sub-Saharan Africa’s off-grid energy sector, and support regulators and utilities as new realities unfolded. Through a $3 million grant program, Power Africa helped provide clean and reliable electricity to more than 220 health facilities serving over 2 million people.

Power Africa continues to collaborate with African governments, our partners, and the private sector to expand access to electricity to health facilities across sub-Saharan Africa. Together, we are powering health.

BUILDING A HEALTH ELECTRIFICATION AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS ALLIANCE IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

A USAID Global Development Alliance

Power Africa and USAID’s Global Health Bureau, in partnership with the private sector, are supporting healthcare delivery outcomes through the Health Facility Electrification program to electrify and digitally connect 10,000 health facilities in sub-Saharan Africa by 2027. To support these efforts, Power Africa publicized a Request for Information seeking information on ways to more effectively scale-up existing efforts. In addition, Power Africa seeks partners who can commit to joining the Global Development Alliance to reach this ambitious yet attainable goal.

The Health Electrification and Telecommunications Alliance (HETA) is Power Africa’s flagship initiative for health facility electrification and digital connectivity in sub-Saharan Africa. Our mission is to catalyze public-private partnerships for sustainable business models that increase access to reliable, renewable energy and digital connections. These improvements are vital for supporting equitable access to care for people across the region.

As a Global Development Alliance, HETA is a partnership in which the U.S. government and the private sector leverage their combined resources, expertise, and capabilities to support country health systems to adopt renewable energy solutions. We convene partners to collaboratively design market based solutions that meet facilities’ and communities’ needs while making it easier and less costly to invest in the systems that power access to high-quality healthcare and productive uses of energy.

THE CHALLENGE

An estimated 100,000 health facilities in sub-Saharan Africa lack reliable access to the electricity and digital connectivity they need to equitably serve their communities. Without these services, facilities can’t keep the lights on for nighttime births or emergency surgeries, run equipment that keeps vaccines viable, or modernize their communication and records management systems. This creates gaps in service delivery, limits access to life-saving healthcare, and diminishes health systems’ resilience to climate change and other threats.

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Nurse Meriam with phone

HETA’S SOLUTION

HETA links health goals with private sector business interests to co-fund and collaboratively design renewable energy systems linked to mobile networks. We are exploring a range of context-driven business models that approach energy as a service—where the health system pays for electricity delivered rather than equipment installed. Successful business models will generate revenue to ensure long-term operations and maintenance of the systems—addressing a key challenge for sustainability and creating job opportunities in the communities where we work.

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Nurse with digital device

HOW HETA WORKS

HETA works with diverse partners to design solutions that meet each facility’s needs for power and digital connectivity, extend the benefits of energy access to nearby communities, and accelerate progress toward greater resilience and decarbonization of the health sector. HETA can support a wide range of health facilities—from rural, off-grid clinics to diagnostic laboratories and facilities providing temperature-controlled storage of vaccines and other health commodities.

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SCOPE – HETA selects facilities in partnership with the hostcountry government, USAID, and private sector partners. Selections are based on the need for new or improved electrification and digital connectivity and the availability of co-funding from other donors and private sector partners. We use evidence to understand the context and collaboratively design business models that will generate impact and return on investment.

FUND – In-country work starts when a USAID country mission transfers funding to HETA, which we match with private sector contributions.

PARTNER – We work closely with the government, finalize agreements with private sector partners, and engage stakeholders in detailed implementation planning to deliver the right mix of energy and telecommunication systems. This includes designing business models to sustain long-term operations and maintenance (O&M).

ELECTRIFY & CONNECT – System designs use renewable energy technology (solar photovoltaics and battery storage, for example) and incorporate internet connectivity through cell towers or other infrastructure. Where feasible, systems can be sized to enable off-take—sales of surplus power for productive uses such as refrigeration, water pumps, and battery charging. Off-take generates revenue for O&M while supporting livelihood opportunities for community members.

MONITOR – Efficient, ongoing monitoring of the installed systems and the resulting improvements in health outcomes helps us understand what works, prepare for scale-up, and feed into country-level and regional learning cycles for improved health facility electrification and digital connectivity.

SCALE & SUSTAIN – As we expand to more health facilities, the business models HETA supports will secure sustainable revenue for O&M—providing lasting benefits for people, communities, and health systems while creating pathways for greater investment at the nexus of energy, health, and climate in sub-Saharan Africa.

AN OPEN PARTNERSHIP PLATFORM

Our partners represent diverse sectors and industries—for-profit companies, not-for-profit organizations, charitable foundations, finance and investment firms, energy and telecommunications companies, and more.

COUNTRY GOVERNMENTS – Your priorities drive HETA’s work and your commitments strengthen the enabling environment for reliable, renewable energy and digital inclusion for the health sector.

CORPORATE PARTNERS & INVESTORS – Your support helps fill gaps in access to capital, removing a main barrier to health facility electrification and digital connectivity. By partnering with HETA, you gain access to bankable projects, reduced transaction costs, and avenues to scale existing operations, while providing catalytic funding for environmental and social change.

ENERGY & TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE PROVIDERS – Partnering with HETA provides access to new or expanded markets and capital at reduced transaction costs, while contributing to social impact as you work with us to procure, install, operate, and maintain energy systems linked to mobile networks.

DONORS & PHILANTROPIC ORGANIZATIONS – Your contributions provide essential co-funding for our work and resources to deepen HETA’s impact in areas that align with your interest—such as health system strengthening, improved access to essential services such as clean water, and decarbonizing the health sector.

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WHY INVEST IN HETA?

HETA goals can only be achieved through co-creation and contributions from an array of partners inspired to support health system resilience in sub-Saharan Africa. There is space for many kinds of contributions, from directly funding capital expenses to sharing technology innovations and expertise that generate market-based solutions. Together, we will leverage $47 million in seed funds from Power Africa to make investments in this emerging market easier and streamline the process from idea to installation—with lasting benefits for people’s health and for the climate.

WHO WE ARE

HETA is a USAID Global Development Alliance that works with African governments to deliver renewable energy and digital connectivity.

Power Africa provides $47 million in initial funds and offers the convening power of the U.S. government to enable and enrich HETA’s work. A U.S. government-led partnership coordinated by USAID, Power Africa convenes the collective resources of the private sector, international development organizations, and governments from around the world to increase energy access and to end energy poverty in sub-Saharan Africa.

Guiding HETA’s work are four core partners with expertise in partnering, funding, and implementing programs at the intersections of health, climate, energy, and telecommunications.

  • Abt Associates is the lead integrator for HETA, catalyzing partnerships, funding, and expertise to help health systems make the transition to renewable energy, expand digital inclusion, and enable healthier, more resilient communities.
  • RESOLVE lends its expertise in social enterprise development and collaborative leadership as we grow a vibrant, sustainable alliance membership.
  • bechtel.org (Bechtel’s social enterprise) and Orange, our first two private sector leverage partners, are demonstrating how infrastructure co-investments can maximize social impact.

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HELP BUILD A SUSTAINBLE ALLIANCE

The scope of the need requires a lasting solution to reach the 100,000 or more health facilities that lack access to reliable, renewable energy and digital connections. From day 1, HETA is working with partners to build an institution that will be able to continue beyond the life of this Global Development Alliance.

Toward that vision, we are seeking anchor partners to build the governance structures and self sustaining model for an independent organization that can continue catalyzing partnerships and investment in health facility electrification and digital connectivity well into the future.

CONTACT

For enquiries about the HETA contact:

Gina Cady, Technical Advisor, Power Africa Coordinator’s Office: gcady@usaid.gov

Joan Chahenza, Acting HETA Project Director: joan_chahenza@abtassoc.com

To find out how USAID can partner with your organization visit the USAID Private Sector Engagement page and the Global Development Alliance Annual Program Statement.

OTHER EXISTING POWER AFRICA POWERING HEALTH INITIATIVES

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Nurse attends to patient at the Rogbere Community Health Center which was recently electrified.

MATERNAL & CHILD HEALTH

Power Africa is partnering with USAID Global Health Bureau to expand health electrification in Africa. In October 2021, Power Africa transferred $500,000 of Maternal Child Health funding to electrify seven large health facilities in Malawi and Uganda using solar energy installations.

MULTILATERAL ENERGY COMPACT FOR HEALTH FACILITY ELECTRIFICATION

During the Energy Action Days of the High-level Dialogue on Energy in 2021, a group of 14 organizations, including Power Africa and our partner, Sustainable Energy for All, launched a Multilateral Energy Compact for Health Facility Electrification.

The new Energy Compact puts forward a sectoral target of 25,000 health facilities to be electrified with clean and reliable power solutions by 2025.

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HEALTHGRID SIERRA LEONE

In early 2022, USAID Sierra Leone launched HealthGrid Sierra Leone, an initiative to provide sustainable electricity and other essential services to off-grid health facilities. Through HealthGrid, 31 off-grid health facilities will be electrified and will have internet access.

COVID-19 RESPONSE & RECOVERY

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. 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.

OFF-GRID HEALTH FACILITY ELECTRIFICATION

The Power Africa Off-Grid Project has awarded $3,070,650 in grant funding to electrify more than 250 health facilities in ten countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

To advance health facility electrification, the Project:

  • Uses private-sector capacity to supply off-grid renewable energy.
  • Supports long-term business plans that are financially sustainable for the health facility and the company.
  • Prioritizes innovative and commercially viable business models that use off-grid energy productively (e.g., by providing extra services on-site and collecting revenue to subsidize the energy supply).
  • Aims to share and scale effective business models.
  • Prioritizes sustainability, focusing not only on electrification, but on maintaining a consistent supply of electricity.

USAID POWERING HEALTH TOOLKIT

The USAID Powering Health Toolkit provides a five-step approach to health facility electrification. Renewable energy companies, development professionals, and health facility administrators can use this toolkit to assess current and forecasted energy demand, investigate electrification options, and make smart procurement decisions for sustainable power supply.

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