Powering Africa Summit in USA aims to power 60 million African homes and businesses

USAID led programme aims to combine the private and public sector to add 30,000 new megawatts of cleaner electricity generation, and connect 60 million homes and businesses to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa.

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US Government officials, African energy experts and private sector companies have converged on Washington DC this week to discuss Africa’s power situation at the Powering Africa Summit.

The summit is to discuss how the USAID-led Power Africa has progressed.

The programme is now in its third year and aims to combine public and private sector entities to accelerate access to power in sub-Saharan Africa. So far, it has 120 different entities involved.

 The programme was launched by US President Barack Obama in 2013 with the aim of adding 30,000 new megawatts of cleaner electricity generation, and to connect 60 million homes and businesses to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa.

The US Summit, which finishes on Friday 29 January, also launched the Power Africa Roadmap, a guide to how the programme has progressed and how it will reach its two goals.

In it, it says the United States initially made a $7 billion dollar commitment to the USAID programme, and that has leveraged nearly $43 billion in commitments from the public and private sectors, including more than $31 billion in commitments from private sector partners. The private sector partner commitments have tripled since 2013.

 While public sector partners, including the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank Group (WBG), the Government of Sweden, and the European Union (EU) have collectively committed nearly $12 billion in support of sustainable energy activities across the region.

The summit also launched the Power Africa Tracking Tool (PATT) app, which tracks the status of energy projects Power Africa is tracking across sub-Saharan Africa, as they advance through the different stages of development.

It also contains links to energy sector news and country-level statistics.

The summit was to include a talk by Richard Anamoo, Director General, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority on the Financial Development of Tema Port, towards the end of the programme.

 Ghana has had strong involvement in the programme, in 2014 the United States Millennium Challenge Corporation and the Government of Ghana signed the $498 million Ghana Power Compact to help create a financially viable power sector to meet the current and future needs of businesses and households.

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