US President Barack Obama in Senegal

US President Barack Obama has pledged USD7 billion to help combat power blackouts in sub-Saharan Africa.

Speaking in Cape Town, South Africa, at the weekend, the US President said the initiative, ‘Power Africa’, would aim to double access to power across the region over the next five years.

He said: “We’ve been dealing with agriculture, we’ve been dealing with health. Now we’re going to talk about power - Power Africa - a new initiative that will double access to power in sub-Saharan Africa. We’re going to start by investing USD7 billion in U.S. government resources.  We’re going to partner with the private sector, who themselves have committed more than USD9 billion in investment. And in partnership with African nations, we’re going to develop new sources of energy.  

We’ll reach more households not just in cities, but in villages and on farms.  We’ll expand access for those who live currently off the power grid.  And we’ll support clean energy to protect our planet and combat climate change.So this is America’s vision:  a partnership with Africa that unleashes growth, and the potential of every citizen, not just a few at the very top.  And this is achievable.  There’s nothing that I’ve outlined that cannot happen."

Obama visited Senegal and South Africa last week, and is set to arrive in Tanzania today.

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