01 March 2014, Washington, DC — The US House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), has passed H.R. 2548, the Electrify Africa Act, as amended, which will improve access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa, through a comprehensive U.S. government approach to electricity projects in the region, at no cost to the U.S. taxpayer.
Last year, Chairman Royce, joined by Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the Committee’s Ranking Member, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa, and Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Africa, introduced the Electrify Africa Act (H.R. 2548). The bipartisan legislation would establish a U.S. strategy to support affordable, reliable electricity in sub-Saharan Africa in order to improve economic growth, health and education in Africa, while helping job creation in the United States through greater exports.
Chairman Royce on the legislation’s passage: “Today’s important legislation offers a market-based, strategic framework to bring affordable and reliable energy to many of the 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa who currently have none. With nearly one billion consumers, the African continent has great economic potential.
“The Electrify Africa Act mandates a clear and comprehensive U.S. policy, so that the private sector can proceed with the certainty it needs to generate electricity in Africa – at no cost to the U.S. taxpayer. We need to be engaged. Where the United States has left a void for economic investment in Africa, China has stepped in to direct nearly $2 billion towards energy projects on the continent. If the United States wishes to tap into this potential consumer base, we must act now.”