Electrify Africa Act
US-based National Rural Electric Co-operative Association (NRECA) welcomes the endorsement of President Barack Obama for the Electrify Africa Act.

Jeffrey Connor, the interim chief executive for NRECA, stated that Electrify Africa Act supports their organisation’s efforts, which targets to bring access to electricity to many people living in sub-Saharan Africa, reports Co-operative News.

“This new law makes it possible to have a significant impact on the lives of millions, and we are proud to be part of this worthwhile effort to bring power to sub-Saharan Africa.

“We are celebrating this achievement with all our members, because our domestic and international work has always focused on power distribution, and making it possible for people to have direct access to electricity,” he said.

NERCA – a global entity

NRECA is a non-profit organisation which represents more than 900 rural electric co-operatives and public power districts providing retail electric service to more than 42 million consumers in 47 states.

NRECA’s international senior vice president, Dan Waddle noted that African leaders have realised the need to accelerate access to power for economic growth.

He said: “African leaders increasingly recognise that access to reliable and affordable electricity is critical to stimulate local income generation and overall economic growth.

“Everyone benefits from unlocking the potential of peri-urban and rural communities in Africa, which is not possible without electrification.”

According to Co-operative News, NRECA International is currently working on electrification projects in Ethiopia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, South Sudan and Uganda.

Malawi continue benefitting from Power Africa

In other energy news, last week Friday a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Malawian minister of natural resources, energy, and mining, Bright Msaka, US ambassador to Malawi, Virginia Palmer and Power Africa coordinator, Andrew Herscowitz. The MoU will enable Malawi to continue participating in the US presidential initiative known as Power Africa.

According to local media, Nyasa Times, during the signing ceremony Palmer said the initiative is committed to support the country’s electrification goals.

“Power Africa represents the US government’s commitment to supporting Malawi to achieve its electrification goals and improve the quality of life for thousands of Malawians,” he said.

Power Africa initiative was first launched by US President Barack Obama in 2013, aimed at combatting frequent power blackouts in sub-Saharan Africa.

The media reported that the US government is actively partnering with the Malawian government to expand access to electricity through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact.

Malawi has secured a grant with a total of $350.7 million from the partnership, in addition this month Power Africa approved $1.6 million of support for Malawi.

According to Nyasa Times, last year, Malawi became a Power Africa Progressive Partnership Country, as such all US government initiatives in the energy sector in Malawi, including the MCC Compact, are now considered part of the US government’s broader Power Africa effort to increase generation capacity through private sector investment.