There is no doubt that africa is on the rise.the continent is home to six of the top ten fastest growing economies in the world.the middle class is growing rapidly and leaders across the continent are creating more opportunities for their people than ever before. Child mortality rates are declining, while life-expectancy is increasing.
Despite these advances, challenges to africa’s rapid pace of growth and development remain. approximately 600 million africans still lack access to electricity, affecting their access to quality health care and education, as well as fewer economic opportunities.the needs and the challenges are enormous, but so too are the opportunities. that is why one year ago, president obama launched Power Africa, and laid out very ambitious goals — to add 10,000 megawatts (MW) of new power generation and expand access to power to 20 million households and businesses. our long-term aim is to double access to cleaner, reliable and efficient electricity in sub-Saharan africa.this is not only the right thing to do for the people of africa, but for the global community who will benefit from an even stronger and dynamic africa for generations to come. through this initiative, we have brought all of the tools and capabilities of the u.S. Government to bear to meet these ambitious targets and to have a meaningful impact on africa’s energy poverty.
President Obama and the heads of each of the twelve participating U.S. Government agencies are leading this effort, and uSaID has the honor of coordinating Power Africa — the first Presidential initiative to be headquartered in africa. the u.S. Government cannot achieve these goals alone. Power Africa’s success will be measured by the strength of our partnerships with african governments, multilateral institutions, donors, and the private sector. private sector investors are seizing the opportunity that africa’s rapidly growing population and consumer market represents.
But investments will only flow where there is a business- friendly investment climate, which seeks to limit the uncertainty and risk involved in any long-term investment. african leaders recognize the critical role of the private sector in meeting africa’s energy needs and have shown a serious commitment to making the tough reforms needed to attract that investment, and to ensure that investment flows continue to rise.the response from the private sector, both from the u.S. and africa, has been overwhelming. as a result, Power Africa has helped facilitate the financial close of private sector transactions which expect to produce nearly 2,800 MW of new generation capacity. this private sector-led model for engaging countries is yielding results around the world. as president obama said in Cape town,“we are moving beyond the simple provision of foreign aid, to a new model of partnership between the united States and africa – a partnership of equals that focuses on your capacity to solve problems...