U.S. Senator Bob Corker Reintroduces Electrify Africa Bill

05 Aug 2015
Financial Nigeria

Summary

The legislation is supported by The ONE Campaign, an advocacy organization of nearly seven million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa.

U.S. Senator Bob Coker

U.S. Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Tuesday reintroduced the Electrify Africa Act.

With nearly 600 million Africans without electricity, this legislation, originally offered in the 113th Congress, will leverage public and private sector resources to extend electricity access throughout Africa, to help 50 million Africans with first-time access to electricity and to add 20,000 megawatts of electricity to the grid by 2020.

“I’m proud to reintroduce this bipartisan approach for leveraging private capital to bring financially viable electric power to millions of people in Africa for the first time,” said Senator Corker. “When making choices about limited foreign aid dollars, our country should focus on efforts like energy where we can transform lives and create a foundation for economic growth through private sector investment.”

The legislation is supported by The ONE Campaign, an advocacy organization of nearly seven million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa.

“This bipartisan bill is a great example of how we can be smarter about how we invest our foreign assistance dollars,” said Elaine Van Cleave of Nashville, a member of The ONE Campaign. “The lack of electricity in so much of sub-Saharan Africa is one of the most dangerous and persistent enemies in the fight against extreme poverty. Senator Corker is a great leader on these issues and deserves our thanks for introducing this legislation.”

The legislation includes the following components:

Requires the President to create a comprehensive strategy for United States’ engagement with sub-Saharan Africa in developing a broad mix of power solutions to increase electricity access and reliability.

Encourages the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), USAID, the U.S. Department of Treasury, World Bank, U.S. Trade and Development Agency, and African Development Bank to prioritize loans, grants, and technical support that promote private investment in projects designed to increase electricity access and reliability.

Authorizes OPIC to continue ongoing work through 2018 and provides limited additional authorities specifically for use on power projects in sub-Saharan Africa. These authorities for sub-Saharan Africa power projects include: expedited procedures for small projects; promoting partnerships between U.S. joint ventures and African partners to develop responsible electricity generation; expanding lending for the purpose of encouraging investments in the power sector in Africa by U.S. investors; and facilitating the development of African power projects through currency guarantees for qualifying local banks.


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