“…No continent and no sector is better positioned to leverage the combination of technological innovation and enterprise-driven development and what it can do to lift lives and build communities. And I'm confident that Power Africa is where these forces come together,” noted Mark Green, the administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
Green said this while giving his keynote speech at the recent Powering Africa Summit in Washington.
He said: “I'm excited to announce that this week, we are releasing the Administration's strategy for Power Africa 2.0. This strategy will ensure that Power Africa can continue to bring innovative ideas and enterprise-driven approaches to help meet Africa's power needs, but more importantly help expand Power Africa's power opportunities.”
Almost five years ago former President Barack Obama launched the project – envisioned to provide 60 million households and businesses with access to electricity and add 30,000MW of power supply by 2030. Read more: Power Africa launches initiative to boost energy access in Uganda
The initiative comprises of a consortium that includes more than 120 governments, companies, NGOs and academic institutions.
Power Africa well on track
Green further underlined that Power Africa is already on track to meet the Electrify Africa Act goal of adding 20,000MW of new power generation by 2020.
“And that'll mean an additional 50 million people will receive access to energy, which in today's world is truly life-changing. In the 21st century, power is life,” he said.
Green pointed out that power is a crucial ingredient in response to the greatest development challenge of our time, which includes the displacement of families and communities around the world.
He said: “In January, I had the honour of announcing a new partnership that Power Africa has with MasterCard, aimed at helping to connect these millions of displaced people to electricity.
“Through Power Africa, we helped convene more than 15 partners from Mastercard to Mercy Corps to Energy Peace Partners. Together, we're working to power and connect five different refugee camps; three in Uganda and two in Kenya.”
This progress has happened despite President Donald Trump’s declaration about “America first”, which left many wondering if that meant Africa last.