News

September 17, 2013

USADF, General Electric commit $2m to electrify communities off national grid

By Chris Ochayi

ABUJA—Determined to help address power inadequacy in the country, the United State Africa Development Foundation, USADF, and General Electric, GE, have committed $2 million to supply electricity to rural and urban communities not covered by the national grid.

This came on a day the French government promised to assist Nigeria to build capacity in all critical areas that will increase power generation in the country.

Nigeria President and Chief Executive Officer of General Electric, Dr. Lazarus Angbazo, who disclosed news of USADF and GE’s plans at a joint press conference in Abuja, yesterday, officially announced the call for entries for the Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge.

Besides, the Economic Advisor at the United States Embassy in Nigeria, Douglas Climan, who represented the USADF, explained that the initiative was part of President Barrack Obama’s Power Africa initiative, which is aimed at doubling generated power across the African continent with a $9 billion grant.

Dr. Angbazo noted that there was still a huge segment of the rural population either grossly underserved by the national grid or not on the grid at all.

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He said: “The Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge is a $2 million initiative to promote innovative off-grid energy solutions development by African-owned and-operated businesses. It will award 20 or more grants up to $100,000 each to innovators that further develop, scale-up or extend the use of proven technologies for off-grid energy.

“This initiative rewards innovation but the monetary reward should be viewed beyond the value to the much deeper motivation to positively touch lives of eventual beneficiaries of the off-grid solutions in communities and corporations where they are needed.”

In his address, Douglas Climan, who stood for USADF, declared that, “through President Obama’s Power Africa Initiative, the United States is committed to expanding the grids and helping to ensure transparency in the large scale energy sector.”

Meanwhile, the French government has promised to assist Nigeria to build capacity in all critical areas that will increase power generation in the country.

French Minister of External Trade, Nicole Bricq, who made the promise, said her country would participate actively in all power related development projects in Nigeria.

Describing the relationship between Nigeria and her country as good, Bricq said France was prepared to assist Nigerian in all critical areas that will increase power generation capacity.