5 Power Africa Updates

Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, and Tanzania are poised to revolutionize their energy sector in conjunction with the Power Africa initiative. Community Renewable Energy believes that renewable energy can transform the lives of millions of people, and we celebrate the nations’ progress. Here’s a round-up of the latest news.

  • Power AfricaOxfam backs investing in mini-grid and off-grid technology in order to serve rural area. Community Renewable Energy also believes in the promise of micro-grids to ensure that rural communities aren’t left behind as more populated areas enjoy the benefits of their nation’s energy progress. Oxfam points out: “Promoting energy access should also support inclusive, transparent, and accountable processes that place communities in the driver’s seat of their own energy development. Civil society should have a seat at the table when plans for addressing energy poverty are in the making.”
  • John Rice recently wrote about the importance of African entrepreneurs. He notes: “The region is home to six of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world. A majority of Africans will belong to the middle class within a generation. There is enormous potential for development to accelerate rapidly.” However, “Power inefficiencies cost the region $3.2 billion annually in lost productivity, while consumption is only one-tenth of that found elsewhere in the developing world. This means that it takes an Ethiopian two years to consume the amount of energy an American or European uses in a matter of days.” African nations can’t– and aren’t– relying on funds flowing from the United States and other nations to create a powerful energy sector. They are establishing their own renewable-friendly energy policy and capitalizing on their citizens’ entrepreneurial spirit. In this way, the world doesn’t power Africa, Africans power Africa.
  • On May 8, governmental ministers from across the continent gathered to discuss Power Africa. Their conclusions will be presented at June’s African Union Summit, and the event coincided with the World Economic Forum on Africa. From New Business Ethiopia: “All speakers emphasized the positive strides that the continent had made and agreed that the next steps were to refine and further develop the Africa Power Vision and advance the initial discussions that had taken place in March.”
  • Ghana and Nigeria are set to become solar leaders. Nigeria projects that it stands to receive $7.5 billion in investments in the wake of Power Africa. From Power Africa: “The minister [of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil] said the would-be investors were impressed with existing incentives designed to attract investors such as risk guarantee, the waiver regime for renewable energy equipments, favourable policy framework among others, assuring that ‘Nigeria as one of the six focus countries will benefit massively from the Power Africa Initiative.'”
  • The Guardian maps 11 paths to electrifying the continent. Their suggestions include “pool[ing] regional energy resources,” shifting focus away from limiting carbon emissions, and emphasizing the health benefits of renewable power. They point out: “Health facilities that serve an estimated 255 million people do not have electricity. Lifesaving vaccines spoil due to lack of reliable refrigeration. A lack of access contributes to the use of inefficient and highly polluting fuel sources for indoor cooking and heating, contributing to more than three million premature deaths – more than from malaria and HIV/Aids combined. 90 million children go to primary schools without electricity and millions have no light to study at night. Students in Sudan were able to improve their pass rates from 57% to 97% after one year with electric lights. Farmers lose their harvest to spoilage. Streets aren’t safe for women and children after dark.”

To learn more about Power Africa and the continent’s emerging energy sector, check out:

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