Africa Fact Sheet
In 2013, President Obama launched Power Africa, an innovative partnership to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa where more than 600 million people currently lack access. During the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in 2014, President Obama reaffirmed that Power Africa’s reach extends across all of sub-Saharan Africa and tripled Power Africa’s goals to work towards adding 30, 000 megawatts (MW) of new, cleaner electricity generation capacity and increasing electricity access by at least 60 million new connections.
Progress to Date
Power Africa has helped transactions expected to generate over 4, 100 MW of new, cleaner power generation throughout sub-Saharan Africa reach financial close. When fully on line, this additional generation has the potential to enable an estimated 4 million new connections through increased availability of power. Through Power Africa’s Off-Grid Challenge and the U.S.-Africa Clean Energy Finance initiative (ACEF), the U.S. Government has funded projects expected to yield an additional 1 million new connections.
Delivering on U.S. Government Commitments
Two years after the launch of Power Africa, several U.S. Government departments and agencies have fulfilled their original 5-year Power Africa commitments and have announced expanded Power Africa commitments.
- The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) expects to exceed its original $1.5 billion commitment by the end of 2015, which is expected to mobilize an additional $1.4 billion in private capital. OPIC has announced an additional $1 billion commitment through 2018.
- The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) expects to commit nearly $2 billion by the end of 2015, nearly doubling its original $1 billion commitment. MCC is implementing power compacts in Ghana and Malawi, and is developing energy sector programs in Benin, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania.
- The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has placed over 25 advisors across sub-Saharan Africa who are tracking over 24, 000 MW of projects for potential support and providing technical support to improve the enabling environment for private sector investment. USAID, through its Development Credit Authority, has mobilized $171 million in private finance in support of power projects, with a pipeline of over $300 million in new projects.
- The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has provided over $17 million towards 29 projects that are expected to add over 660 MW to the continent’s power supply and leverage an anticipated $3.8 billion in private and public financing, or over $200 for every $1 spent. USTDA plans to commit an additional $10 million in project planning assistance to help early-stage clean energy projects achieve financial close and implementation.
- The U.S. Africa Development Foundation (USADF), in partnership with USAID and GE Africa, has exceeded its $2 million commitment, awarding 28 grants for a total of $2.8 million in grant support in Rounds I and II of the Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge. USADF is unleashing the power of local African entrepreneurs to test business models utilizing renewable energy for productive uses, from micro-grids to biogas and more.
- The Department of Energy is expanding the Clean Energy Solutions Center which is connecting policymakers in Africa with energy experts around the world, as well as expanding technical training for government officials in Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya on geothermal, and on as natural gas in East Africa.
- The Department of State is providing technical assistance and is working with African governments to promote and advance regulatory and policy reforms that stimulate private investment in the power sector.
The Power of Partnerships
Power Africa has forged strategic partnerships with African governments, multilateral development banks, bilateral partners, and more than 100 private sector partners to maximize our impact and accelerate private sector investment in renewable energy.
Power Africa’s initial $7 billion commitment has already mobilized more than $20 billion in private sector commitments to invest in power generation and distribution across Sub-Saharan Africa. Power Africa’s public sector partners, including the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank Group and the Government of Sweden have collectively committed an additional $9 billion in support of Power Africa. On July 14th, the European Union (EU) and Power Africa announced a new partnership at the Financing for Development Conference, through which the EU committed to fund more than $2.8 billion in sustainable energy activities across sub-Saharan Africa.