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Power Africa teams with US clean energy agency to boost Africa investment

Power Africa, the US government initiative, and the joint UN-World Bank Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) project will sign a cooperation of understanding today in a bid to attract private-sector investment in African electrification.

Cooperation between Power Africa and SE4ALL aims at facilitating energy access projects through Power Africa’s Beyond the Grid initiative and SE4ALL’s focus on connecting the energy poor in off-grid communities, according to a statement released by the US government.

Andrew Herscowitz, the US Government Coordinator for Power Africa and Trade Africa, said: “The cooperation of Power Africa and SE4ALL will galvanize US partnerships with other countries and also further attract private sector interest including international financial organizations for our efforts to increase access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa.

“This agreement will also mobilize African leaders to advance regional energy transactions and expand individual country coordination.”

The SE4ALL initiative is a multi-stakeholder partnership between governments, the private sector, and civil society.

Launched by the UN Secretary-General in 2011, it has three interlinked objectives to be achieved by 2030 – ensure universal access to modern energy services; double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

Last month, President Barack Obama expanded Power Africa’s commitment by increasing its aggregate goal from 10,000 to 30,000 megawatts of additional electricity generating capacity in sub-Saharan Africa that should provide electricity access to an additional 60 million household and business connections.

The President also renewed the US Government’s financial commitment to Power Africa, pledging a new level of US$300 million in assistance per year and announcing $6 billion in new private sector commitments, bringing total private sector commitments under Power Africa to date to more than $20 billion.