Powering Health

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A doctor examining a patient's eye with a light

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 200 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 FACILITY ELECTRIFICATION ALLIANCE IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA


An icon of a hospital with solar panels on

USAID and Power Africa are building a public-private partnership to improve access to clean electricity and internet connectivity at health facilities in sub-Saharan Africa. Through renewable energy and digital solutions, this alliance can deliver reliable, climate-friendly, life-saving power to 10,000 remote health facilities.

 

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.

 

THE CHALLENGE
Approximately 100,000 public health facilities in sub-Saharan Africa have no access to reliable electricity. Basic health services − vaccinations, maternal and child wellness, HIV/AIDS and TB treatments, COVID-19 mitigation, digital record keeping − are limited or unavailable. Life-saving interventions are often impossible.
Inside of a clinic with a bed and yellow walls

THE OPPORTUNITY
The Healthcare Electrification and Telecommunication Alliance can power the future of health in remote sub-Saharan Africa. By assembling the world’s leading renewable energy, digital technology, and health solutions providers, we can electrify health facilities, enable modern medical services, prevent unnecessary deaths, and improve lives.
A solar panel being put in place in Manamaneng, Lesotho.

 

EXISTING INITIATIVES

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.

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.

During the United Nations High-level Dialogue on Energy in 2021, Power Africa joined more than a dozen organizations to launch a Multilateral Energy Compact for Health Facility Electrification, which aims to electrify 25,000 health facilities with clean and reliable power solutions by 2025.

BUILDING A GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT ALLIANCEAn icon of a solar panel with a sun
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. 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.

 

CONTACT

To find out your organization can join the Alliance, contact:

Gina Cady
Senior Technical Advisor’s Office
E: gcady@usaid.gov

Julius Svoboda
Private Enterprise Officer, Partnerships
E: jsvoboda@usaid.gov

 

 

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.

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.

LEARN MORE

 

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.

Learn more about off-grid health facility electrification in this fact sheet.

 

USAID POWERING HEALTH TOOLKIT


Last updated: May 11, 2022

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