The president said energy is vital to help students study, businesses operate, families meet basic needs and provides:
“the connection needed to plug Africa into the grid of the global economy. A light where currently there is darkness, the energy needed to lift people out of poverty. That’s what opportunity looks like.”Obama vowed steps including new trade missions and seeking renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act.
More than two-thirds of residents of sub-Saharan Africa currently do not have electricity, including more than 85 percent of people in rural areas.
From policy and regulatory best practices, to pre-feasibility support and capacity building, to long-term financing, insurance, guarantees, credit enhancements and technical assistance, Power Africa will provide coordinated support to help African partners expand their generation capacity and access.
The program – which the White House said is leveraging more than $9 billion in private sector commitments – will include financing and assistance through a number of agencies. That includes up to $5 billion through the U.S. Export-Import Bank, and $1.5 billion in financing and insurance through the Overseas Private Investment Corp. (The Hill, 6/30/2013)