WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah released the following statement today in response to the House of Representatives passage of the Electrify Africa Act of 2014, or H.R. 2548.
“USAID is pleased with the Electrify Africa Act of 2014 passed today by the House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support. We thank Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Ed Royce, Ranking Member Eliot Engel, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa Chris Smith, and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Africa Karen Bass for their leadership on H.R. 2548, and look forward to working with the Senate on complementary legislation.
“The House bill underscores the U.S. Government’s broad commitment to providing access to electricity for millions of Africans. The legislation also demonstrates the strong interagency cooperation on President Obama’s Power Africa energy initiative, which seeks to double access to electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa. Power Africa encourages countries to make energy sector reforms while connecting entrepreneurs and U.S. businesses to investment opportunities.
“For most of the world, electricity allows businesses to flourish, clinics to store vaccines, and students to study long after dark. But for more than two-thirds of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa, these opportunities simply do not exist. I just returned from the World Economic Forum in Abuja, Nigeria, where I met with African Heads of State and their cabinets, business people, and civil society organizations, all of whom are committed to powering Africa’s growth. What came shining through each interaction was how African entrepreneurs are ready today to grow their economies if given reliable access to energy.
“The Electrify Africa Act supports USAID’s new model for development, a results-based method of partnership and innovation that will end extreme poverty. This act will increase Power Africa’s ability to catalyze private investment and spread energy access in Africa. We look forward to continuing to work with Congress as well as our interagency and private-sector partners to create new sources of cleaner, reliable, low-cost electricity for millions of Africans.”