Power Africa Not Up And Running Despite Obama’s Promises

Power Africa Not Up And Running Despite Obama’s Promises

From Business Day

Barack Obama last year told a cheering crowd in Cape Town that a $7bn plan to “Power Africa” would double electricity output on the world’s poorest continent and bring “light where currently there is darkness.”

A year later, the US president’s flagship project for Africa has already achieved 25 percent of its goal to deliver 10,000MW of electricity and bring light to 20-million households and businesses, its annual report shows.

But the five-year plan has not yet delivered the power.

Power Africa has not measured its progress by counting actual megawatts added to the grid but promises of additional power made in deals it says it helped negotiate, according to sources inside the project and documents seen by Reuters.

Some projects facilitated by Power Africa — a program operated by the US aid agency Usaid — were under way years before the scheme’s inception, others are still in the planning stage. It is unclear how much of the $7bn Mr Obama pledged has actually been spent, or if a further $20bn in private sector investment commitments will materialize.


Written by Joe Brock/Read more at Business Day