US Power Africa attracts $2.7bn Investments

power transmission gridOscarline Onwuemenyi

21 January 2014, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The efforts by the United States to increase twofold electricity supply in sub-Saharan Africa has already attracted investments valued at $2.7 billion, according to Imara Africa Equity Research.

Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a US government agency, has dedicated $1.5 billion for the first five years to the US initiative – known as Power Africa – according to OPIC’s Mimi Alemayehou.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), another US agency, had pledged $1 billion to Power Africa, its Kamran Khan has said.

Additionally, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), a well-known US development agency, has agreed to commit $285 million to the initiative in grants and risk mitigation, USAID’s Andrew Herscowitz revealed.

“We are seeing developers investing for the first time in power in emerging markets, “Alemayehou has been quoted as saying in the Imara Equity Research report.

“We’re seeing developers we’ve never seen before. We are also seeing with the private sector in Africa an opportunity to partner with American companies,” Alemayehou said in the same report.

Last year, US President Barack Obama visited South Africa, where he launched the Power Africa initiative before visiting other parts of the continent.

Power Africa is poised to increase the electricity generation capacity by around 10,000MW in half-a-dozen partner countries, which include Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania.

The initiative plans to upsurge power generation through public private partnerships.

It also intends to increase access to electricity to 20 million African people and reduce costs for African companies.

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