The London-based bank has increased has committed a further $3 billion dollars to US President Obama’s Power Africa initiative, after reaching the first financial commitment in the project’s first year.

Power Africa launched in 2013, aims to double the amount of people in sub-Saharan Africa with access to electricity, with involvement from African governments, the private sector and other developmental partners such as the World Bank. US agency, USAID, reports that through the project, it aims to add 10 000MW to the continent’s electricity generation capacity.

According to CNBC Africa, Peter Sands, chief group officer for Standard Chartered said “A lack of access to electricity is one of Africa’s most critical infrastructure challenges. With our extended commitment to the Power Africa initiative we expect to add around 7,500 megawatts to Africa’s power grid – equivalent to the electricity production capacity of Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire.”

Sands told the Wall Street Journal that Power Africa provides political impetus to speed up current power projects. “It's got governments to realize the money is there if they can play their role in getting projects into financial shape” he told the WSJ.

“It needs to accelerate, because otherwise one is simply making sure that the gap between the need for power and the supply of power just doesn't get much bigger."