Tracking Power Africa – Lessons and best practices in energy access

This report conducts a portfolio wide assessment of the US Government’s Power Africa Initiative, a multi-agency effort that seeks to increase financing for energy projects in Africa. The report highlights some promising trends of the initiative while making recommendations to improve overseas energy financing.

Significant financial investment is required to achieve universal energy access, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where the problem is especially acute. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that approximately $43 billion is required annually to provide electricity to the 1.1 billion people around the world presently lacking it. The majority of these energy-poor people are also most at risk to have their livelihoods impacted by climate change. There is, hence, increased urgency to reduce emissions from the energy sector, raising questions on the best forms of technology in achieving energy access and how best to finance them.

Power Africa is a US government-led public-private financing initiative with the goals to add more than 30,000 megawatts (MW) of “cleaner, more efficient electricity generation” and to increase electricity access by adding 60 million new connections in sub-Saharan Africa. This report assesses four categories: the breakdown of projects across the different US government agencies, the technologies employed, the target countries, and the breakdown of spending for on- and off-grid investments.



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