President Obama left for Africa last week on June 26, 2013. As his trip draws to a close, we would like to share the latest release from the White House about the new Power Africa program that the President announced in Cape Town, South Africa over the weekend.
Office of the Press Secretary


June 30, 2013

FACT SHEET: Power Africa

Today the President announced Power Africa, a new initiative to double access to power in sub-Saharan Africa. 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. 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. And it will enhance
energy resource management capabilities, allowing partner countries to
meet their critical energy needs and achieve greater energy security.

Power Africa is Rooted in Partnership

The United States and its partners will work with an initial set of
Power Africa partner countries, including Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya,
Liberia, Nigeria, and Tanzania. These countries have set ambitious
goals in electric power generation and are making the utility and
energy sector reforms to pave the way for investment and growth.
Power Africa will also partner with Uganda and Mozambique on
responsible oil and gas resources management.

Power Africa will bring to bear a wide range of U.S. government tools
to support investment in Africa’s energy sector. From policy and
regulatory best practices, to pre-feasibility support and capacity
building, to long-term financing, insurance, guarantees, credit
enhancements and technical assistance Power Africa will provide
coordinated support to help African partners expand their generation
capacity and access.

The United States will commit more than $7 billion in financial
support over the next five years to this effort, including:

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will
provide $285 million in technical assistance, grants and risk
mitigation to advance private sector energy transactions and help
governments adopt and implement the policy, regulatory, and other
reforms necessary to attract private sector investment in the energy
and power sectors.

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) will
commit up to $1.5 billion in financing and insurance to energy
projects in sub-Saharan Africa.

The U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) will make available up
to $5 billion in support of U.S. exports for the development of power
projects across sub-Saharan Africa.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) will invest up to
$1 billion in African power systems through its country compacts to
increase access and the reliability and sustainability of electricity
supply through investments in energy infrastructure, policy and
regulatory reforms and institutional capacity building.

OPIC and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) will
provide up to $20 million in project preparation, feasibility and
technical assistance grants to develop renewable energy projects.
These efforts will be coordinated through the U.S. – Africa Clean
Energy Finance Initiative (US-ACEF) and supported by the recently
launched U.S. – Africa Clean Energy Development and Finance Center
(CEDFC) in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) will launch
a $2 million Off-Grid Energy Challenge to provide grants of up to
$100,000 to African-owned and operated enterprises to develop or
expand the use of proven technologies for off-grid electricity
benefitting rural and marginal populations.
In 2014, OPIC and USAID will jointly host an African energy
and infrastructure investment conference. The conference will bring
investors, developers, and companies together with U.S. and African
government officials to demonstrate the opportunities for investment
and the tools and resources available from the U.S. government and
other partners to support investment.

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 in sub-Saharan Africa. Examples of
commitments to-date include:

General Electric commits to help bring online
5,000 megawatts of new, affordable energy through provision of its
technologies, expertise and capital in Tanzania and Ghana.

Heirs Holdings commits to $2.5 billion of
investment and financing in energy, generating an additional 2,000
megawatts of electricity capacity over next five years.

Symbion Power aims to catalyze $1.8 billion in
investment to support 1,500 megawatts of new energy projects in Power
Africa countries over the next five years.

Aldwych International commits to developing 400
MW of clean, wind power in Kenya and Tanzania – which will represent
the first large-scale wind projects in each of these countries, and an
associated investment of $1.1 billion.

Harith General Partners commits to $70 million
in investment for clean, wind energy in Kenya and $500 million across
the African power sector via a new fund.

Husk Power Systems will seek to complete
installation of 200 decentralized biomass-based mini power plants in
Tanzania – providing affordable lighting for 60,000 households.

The African Finance Corporation intends to
invest $250 million in the power sectors of Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria,
catalyzing $1 billion in investment in sub-Saharan Africa energy

Power Africa Will Help Attract Investment in Africa’s Energy Sector

Power Africa directly addresses constraints to investment in order to
accelerate progress. Instead of taking years or even decades to
create an enabling environment for energy sector investment, Power
Africa takes a transaction-centered approach that provides incentives
to host governments, the private sector, and donors. These incentives
galvanize collaboration, producing near-term results and driving
forward systemic reforms that pave the way to future investment. To
achieve these ambitions, Power Africa includes:

An interagency Transactions Solutions Team to provide the
catalysts needed to bring power and transmission projects to fruition
by leveraging financing, insurance, technical assistance, and grant
tools from across the U.S. government and our private sector partners.

Field-based Transaction Advisors, who have already begun
their work in each of the partner countries, to help governments
prioritize, coordinate, and expedite the implementation of power
projects, while simultaneously building the capacity of existing host
government ministries to deliver results.

Power Africa Will Build Capacity for Project Delivery and Energy Sector Reform

Building host-government capacity to develop, approve, finance and
ultimately bring power projects on line is critical to the success of
the initiative. To support this need, Power Africa will work with
host governments to launch or further develop “delivery units” charged
with driving progress on specific projects. These delivery units will
help increase technical skills and accelerate energy sector
regulatory, market structure and enabling environment reforms.

In Tanzania for example, Power Africa will support the “Big Results
Now!” program, which is establishing new delivery units within
government ministries. In Nigeria, Power Africa will provide staffing
support, capacity building and technical assistance to an existing
delivery unit. Establishment of a delivery unit in Ghana will be
closely coordinated with the MCC’s Compact slated for signature in

Transparent Natural Resource Management

The recent discoveries of oil and gas in sub-Saharan Africa will play
a critical role in defining the region’s prospects for economic growth
and stability, as well as contributing to broader near-term global
energy security. Yet existing infrastructure in the region is
inadequate to ensure that both on- and off-shore resources provide
on-shore benefits and can be accessed to meet the region’s electricity
generation needs.

Although many countries have legal and regulatory structures in place
governing the use of natural resources, these are often inadequate.
They fail to comply with international standards of good governance,
or do not provide for the transparent and responsible financial
management of these resources.

Power Africa will work in collaboration with partner countries to
ensure the path forward on oil and gas development maximizes the
benefits to the people of Africa, while also ensuring that development
proceeds in a timely, financially sound, inclusive, transparent and
environmentally sustainable manner.

This fact sheet can be found in its original form on the White House website. Click here.