It is believed that the new partnership between the UK’s Energy Africa campaign and the US’s Power Africa initiative will leverage much-needed private investment, develop networks to share power across borders and harness geothermal resources to boost access to electricity across the continent.
UK International Development Minister Nick Hurd said: “It is shocking that 600 million Africans still live without power at home. This is not just holding back individuals; it is holding back an entire continent.
“No one can tackle Africa’s energy challenge alone. We will only make progress if we work together. That is why this new partnership is so important.
“The US has led the way over the past few years with its Power Africa campaign. Together with our Energy Africa campaign we can boost access to reliable, clean and affordable household energy, helping millions of people to lift themselves out of poverty.”
USAID Associate Administrator Eric Postel said: “The United States Government is thrilled to work closely with DFID on the Energy Africa campaign, to accelerate the household solar market. In partnership with DFID, development agencies, African governments, the private sector, and civil society, we can help accelerate Africa’s energy path toward economic and environmental sustainability and ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.”
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two countries was signed at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and New Climate Economy event “Climate change in Africa: Financing low-carbon pathways for Development” at the COP21 UN climate change conference in Paris.
The new deal will harness the skills, expertise and investment power of the private sector to help improve energy access, boost economic growth and reduce poverty.
The UK and US will work with African governments, donors and private sector organisations to deliver Global Goal 7 in Africa: ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
The MoU commits Energy Africa and Power Africa to work together in the following areas:
- Boosting investment in clean energy through joint projects
- Expanding off-grid energy
- Developing networks to share power across borders
- Helping more women participate in the energy sector in Africa
- Developing regional geothermal energy
- Strengthening donor coordination across the sector