One year ago, the United States Government made a commitment to Power Africa. Today, that commitment deepens. First came President Obama’s Power Africa initiative, next came the interagency agreement to fund this initiative through USAID and USADF, and now we are waiting upon the Electrify Africa Act to pass.
- Purpose: To encourage the US government to create a plan of action that addresses the 68% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population who is living without electricity (as of 2010).
- What’s the Goal? Implement sustainable, renewable energy solutions to drive economic growth and reduce poverty. In particular, increased electrification rates will improve:
- food security
- availability of cold storage for vaccines and medical supplies
- availability of light to drive business and entrepreneurship after dark
- lower rates of assault toward women who walk long distances to gather fuel
- education and literacy rates with longer and more efficient light sources
- The Plan: Multiyear effective policy changes, partnerships, and funding strategies for an appropriate mix of power solutions approved by the President of the United States.
- The Step-by-Step Process:
- US government will consult with Sub-Saharan governments to determine specific needs and support private/public organizations in promoting the movement toward clean energy
- Install 20,000 megawatts of electrical power by 2020
- First time, direct access to electricity for 50,000,000 people by 2020
- Electrical service available with accountable governance
- Construction of hydroelectric dams that provide low-cost energy and also engage local communities in the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of all projects
- What’s Next? President Obama introduced Power Africa in June of 2013à Congressman Royce (R-CA) & Congressman Engel (D-NY) introduced the Electrify Africa Act on June 27, 2013 to push the President to establish a bipartisan and multiyear plan of action with strategic and tangible numeric goalsà The Act passed in the House of Representatives on May 8, 2014à Next, it must pass the Senate and gain Presidential approval before becoming a law.
“The House bill underscores the U.S. Government’s broad commitment to providing access to electricity for millions of Africans. The legislation also demonstrates the strong interagency cooperation on President Obama’s Power Africa energy initiative, which seeks to double access to electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa. Power Africa encourages countries to make energy sector reforms while connecting entrepreneurs and U.S. businesses to investment opportunities.For most of the world, electricity allows businesses to flourish, clinics to store vaccines, and students to study long after dark. But for more than two-thirds of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa, these opportunities simply do not exist.” – USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah
If you work in Sub-Saharan Africa you may qualify for Power Africa’s The Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge. Round II of the Challenge is OPEN as of May 7th, 2014!
Are you an entrepreneur or part of a dynamic organization or company that works on off-grid technologies in one of the six Power Africa countries? Do you have a winning idea to provide energy to underserved communities in your country? Tell us about it and you could win a $100,000 project grant! From now until June 20, 2014, USADF is accepting proposals for Off-Grid solutions from the following countries: Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Liberia, Tanzania, Ghana.
CLICK HERE TO APPLY, or contact Nokero for more information about how our solar lights can help you empower Africa.