More than two-thirds of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa is without electricity, and more than 85 percent of those living in rural areas lack access. To help solve this inequity, U.S. President Barack Obama has announced Power Africa, a new initiative to double access to power in Sub-Saharan Africa. Power Africa will build on Africa’s enormous power potential, including new discoveries of vast reserves of oil and gas, and the potential to develop clean geothermal, hydro, wind, and solar energy. It will help countries develop newly-discovered resources responsibly, build out power generation and transmission, and expand the reach of mini-grid and off-grid solutions.
According to the International Energy Agency, Sub-Saharan Africa will require more than $300 billion in investment to achieve universal electricity access by 2030. Only with greater private sector investment can the promise of Power Africa be realized. With an initial set of six partner countries in its first phase, Power Africa will add more than 10,000 megawatts of cleaner, more efficient electricity generation capacity. It will increase electricity access by at least 20 million new households and commercial entities with on-grid, mini-grid, and off-grid solutions.
The United States will commit more than $7 billion in financial support over the next five years to this effort.
Power Africa will also leverage private sector investments, beginning with more than $9 billion in initial commitments from private sector partners to support the development of more than 8,000 megawatts of new electricity generation. These commitments include investments from: