The Power Africa Initiative was launched by the Obama administration in 2013 and was housed under USAID. The Initiative brings together technical and legal experts from 12 different federal government agencies and over 130 civil society and private sector partners. Today, it has closed over 126 transactions in the region, commissioned and operationalized 56 power plants, enabled the production of over 10,000 MW of power, adding nearly 15 million new connections and giving electricity to 68 million new people in the continent.
In this episode, Dan sits down with Andrew Herscowitz (former Coordinator of Power Africa) and Paul Weisenfeld (Vice President of RTI International) to discuss the Power Africa initiative, the East Africa energy project, and the future of electrification in Africa. Andrew and Paul describe how leveraging tools of U.S. agencies like USAID and EXIM Bank can create successful public-private partnerships and the role of multilateral banks in Power Africa projects. They also discuss successful electrification projects in Africa from solar power in rural Senegal to wind projects in Kenya.
Podcast originally published on csis.org on March 3, 2020.