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US to give Africans affordable power, internet

Lagos – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced that more than 600,000 people would have access to affordable power and the internet under the U.S. Power Africa Initiative.

USAID’s Administrator, Mr Mark Green, who disclosed this at the ongoing Fourth Annual Powering Africa Summit in Washington DC, said that the Power Africa project had so far benefited many African communities.

“Power Africa is helping our private sector partners to set up micro-grids, which will bring reliable and affordable power to these camps for the first time.

“Once the camps are electrified, USAID’s innovation team and other coalition members will work to connect them to the Internet.

“We are creating digital tools that tap into residents’ mobile phones to track health records, to provide digital identities, and to enable pay-as-you-go power, school fees, and other digital vouchers for services.

“In total, we expect to give more than 600,000 people access to affordable power, internet, and these digital tools,’’ he said.

According to him, Power Africa has so far helped 58 million people across Africa to gain access to electricity using market forces and enterprise principles.

Green said that to make Power Africa a success, the agency was releasing the Administration’s strategy for Power Africa 2.0.

The USAID Administrator said that the new strategy would ensure that Power Africa could continue to bring innovative ideas and enterprise-driven approaches to bear to help meet Africa’s power
needs.

“Under Power Africa 2.0, we will be expanding beyond our previous targets of increased energy generation and access and looking to make gains in the areas of distribution and transmission.

“And perhaps most importantly, we will be taking on the enabling environments that allow private enterprise to grow and thoroughly flourish,’’ he said.

Power Africa is a U.S. Government initiative that addresses one of the most pressing challenges to sustainable economic growth and development in sub-Saharan Africa — access to electrical power.(NAN)


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