The US on Wednesday, June 21, announced plans to enhance access to green energy in the East and Central African region through the Power Africa initiative.
Speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing Africa Energy Forum in Nairobi, USAID’s Administrator Samantha Power noted that Power Africa will provide grants of up to $88.9 million in the next five years to support reliable energy projects in the region.
The new initiative, USAID noted, will guarantee 10 million connections for households and businesses once completed and provide sustainable power to an estimated 50 million people.
Furthermore, the US top envoy committed to mobilizing private investors to raise a separate $4.7 billion to help generate 1,227 megawatts of green energy and develop 1,500 kilometers of transmission lines.
However, USAID did not disclose the specifics of the projects within the East and Central Africa region set to benefit from the program.
Need for East Africa Green Energy funding
In a subsequent statement, Power appreciated the relationship between the US and Kenya and affirmed that the global power is willing to harness input from the private sector to drive progress.
“US-Kenya ties are producing results: US is now Kenya’s largest export market. We provide drought assistance, support Kenya’s energy sector—which uses 90% renewables— and spur tech partnerships in Silicon Savannah,” the administrator noted.
The USAID was celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Power Africa initiative which has been in existence since 2013.
The program, according to USAID, has so far delivered access to electricity to more than 172 million people across sub-Saharan Africa.
The announcement came amid intensified efforts focusing on Africa with the goal of fast-tracking the shift to sustainable power.
According to a report by International Energy Agency (IEA) executive director Fatih Birol in May, 2023- investment trends in Africa showed that the continent was steadily shifting from fossil fuels.
For every dollar invested in fossil fuels, the IEA boss stated, about 1.7 dollars are now going into clean energy.