America provides $7bn for African power projects

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Satellite images of Africa by night show exactly how under-electrified the continent is compared to the rest of the world. According to Times Live, during his recent visit to South Africa US president Barack Obama announced a $7bn “Power Africa” initiative aimed at developing both traditional and renewable power solutions for the most under-powered nations in Africa, starting with Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Ghana, Tanzania and Nigeria. Obama also said the US will help Uganda and Mozambique to manage their oil and natural gas resources.

CNN reports that in a statement from the White House, it is said that “These countries have set ambitious goals in electric power generation, and are making the utility and energy sector reforms to pave the way for investment and growth.”

To put the electricity-generation challenge facing Africa in perspective, if South Africa were to be excluded in the statistics for the region, the World Bank’s research states that the total electricity generation capacity for the Sub-Saharan region is “only 28 Gigawatts, equivalent to that of Argentina”. 

At his keynote address made at the University of Cape Town, Obama outlined his vision for an African-US relationship  that goes “beyond aid to a partnership between America and Africa that would be a partnership of equals”, based on Africans’ ability to solve their own problems.

So while $7bn is far short of the “over $300bn needed to achieve universal electricity access by 2030” the White House says is required, it’s a very good start that doesn’t insult Africans, and instead provides the opportunity for her inhabitants to solve their own problems. 

More electricity for Africa can only be a good thing, not only from a quality-of-life standpoint, but from an access to technology standpoint too, and from there the sky’s the limit.







Deon du Plessis

Deon du Plessis

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.