Power Africa is a U.S. Government initiative that addresses one of the most pressing challenges to sustainable economic growth and development in sub-Saharan Africa – access to electrical power. President Obama announced the initiative in remarks at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, on June 30th, 2013. More than 69 percent of the population of sub-Saharan Africa has no access to electricity — and that number rises to more than 85 percent in rural areas. And yet, the region has significant potential to develop clean, geothermal, hydro, wind, and solar energy.
Power Africa will bridge the gap between Africa’s power shortage and its economic potential by working with U.S., international and African partners – private sector and government — to take the steps needed, from helping countries develop newly-discovered resources responsibly, to building out power generation and transmission and expanding the reach of mini-grid and off-grid solutions. The U.S. Government will work closely with the African Development Bank and other donors and investors to enhance the energy sector resources available.
All the partners in the Power Africa initiative recognize that business and government must make long-term commitments to solve Africa’s energy deficit. Tough reforms are required on the part of government. Business needs to provide long-term, sustainable solutions. U.S. Government partners need to provide support for deserving projects in a clear and effective way. Power Africa exists to enable these steps to be taken.