U.S. “Power Africa” Coordinator to Visit Nigeria

Abuja, Nigeria–Andrew Herscowitz, coordinator of the U.S. government’s multiagency Power Africa Initiative, will visit Nigeria this week to meet with top officials in the governmental, nongovernmental, and private sectors working to improve delivery and institutionalize administration of electrical services in West Africa’s largest economy.

Herscowitz, who has been Power Africa Coordinator since the initiative was launched in 2013, will be in Abuja from February 12-15, and is scheduled to meet with Minister of Power, Works, and Housing Babatunde Raji Fashola, visit various agencies responsible for delivery of electrical services, and meet with members of the media during his visit.

Power Africa brings together technical and legal experts, the private sector, and governments from around the world to work in partnership to increase the number of people with access to power both on and off the grid.

In 2017, 95 million – more than half – of Nigerians still do not have access to electricity, and those that are connected suffer from extensive power outages.  A lack of a reliable and affordable supply of electricity impacts every facet of life in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country.

Businesses routinely cite the cost of electricity as the principal drain on profitability, and schools and health clinics often operate without electricity for prolonged periods or rely on costly diesel generators.

More than a decade ago, Nigeria embarked on a three-phased structural reform that culminated in privatization of the country’s main electricity generation and distribution assets.  Power Africa plays a key role assisting the Government of Nigeria to address these goals, while helping secure financing to add 450 megawatts to Nigeria’s grid by late 2018.

“Power Africa’s goals are ambitious but achievable because we work in partnership,” Herscowitz said.  “By bringing together the world’s top companies, political leaders, and financial institutions, Power Africa is helping Nigeria keep the lights on.”