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Renewable Energy for East Africa


Power lines in South Africa. (File)

Power Africa, a U.S. Government-led initiative, has a new partnership arrangement is focused on increasing regional power generation among the Nile Equatorial Lakes countries.

Power Africa, a U.S. Government-led initiative launched by President Barack Obama in 2013, has a new partnership arrangement with the Nile Basin Initiative, or NBI, and the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program, or NELSAP, focused on increasing regional power interconnections and generation among the Nile Equatorial Lakes countries.

The Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and NBI — signed by the United States Agency for International Development, or USAID, and the Executive Director of the NBI Secretariat — centers on collaboration, funding and technical assistance for regional power generation among the participating Nile Basin countries.

“We are thrilled now to be working more closely with the United States Government and USAID to increase access to renewable energy for people across the Nile Basin region and all of East Africa,” said Innocent Ntabana, Executive Director of the NBI Secretariat.

This new partnership between the United States, NBI and NELSAP builds on Power Africa’s broad coalition of public and private sector partners, and will help accelerate progress towards our shared goal of doubling access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030.

Taylor Ruggles, the U.S. Department of State’s Regional Energy Counselor for Africa, said, “Regional integration is more important than ever and this MOU signals a strong message to the people and governments of the region that we take the issue of energy access and connectivity seriously, and are committed to making the East African Power Pool a reality.”

Power Africa’s goals are to increase electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa by adding more than 30,000 megawatts of cleaner, more efficient electricity generation capacity and 60 million new home and business connections.

The Nile Basin Initiative is a regional intergovernmental partnership launched by the Nile Basin countries in 1999, to manage and develop the shared Nile Basin water resources in a cooperative manner, share substantial socio-economic benefits, and promote regional peace and security. There are 10 NBI Member States: Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Eritrea participates as an observer.

Tina Dooley-Jones, the Deputy Mission Director for the USAID Kenya and East Africa Mission, said“NELSAP plays an important role in promoting sound regional infrastructure development and regional integration, and I am certain that this partnership will advance our common commitment to electrifying the Nile Basin region.”

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