Power Africa commits US$2.6m towards supporting renewable energy access in Africa

AFRICAPower Africa, through the United States Agency for International Development, has announced grants totaling $2,620,650 to solar energy companies to provide reliable, affordable off-grid electricity.

The move according to a statement from USAID is in support of the accelerated provision of off-grid solar energy to healthcare facilities in sub-Saharan Africa.

The firms which will received the grants from Power Africa include include KYA-Energy Group (Togo); Muhanya Solar Limited (Zambia); Nanoé (Madagascar); OffGridBox (Rwanda); OnePower (Lesotho); PEG Solar (Ghana); SolarWorks! (Mozambique) and Zuwa Energy (Malawi).

Through the grants, the firms are expected to power nearly 300 healthcare facilities in sub-Saharan Africa with solar energy.

“Through these grants, USAID is investing in a set of pilot projects that demonstrate how healthcare electrification can be delivered in a commercially sustainable manner, with strong private sector involvement.”

David Stonehill- Leader Power Africa’s Beyond the Grid initiative

Havenhill Synergy, the Nigerian firm, will for instance be required to electrify 21 rural healthcare facilities in Oyo State, using ‘an energy-as-a-service’ business model.

The facilities to benefit from this project are mostly within peri-urban communities with limited reliable electricity access.

According to data from the USAID, nearly 60 per cent of all healthcare facilities in sub-Saharan Africa have no access to electricity, and of those that do, only 34 per cent of hospitals and 28 per cent of health clinics had reliable 24-hour access.

Mark Carrato, the Power Africa Acting Coordinator however notes that Solar energy holds great potential to expand and improve health care delivery in sub-Saharan Africa.

Carrato further notes that off-grid solar technology offers a clean, affordable, and smart solution to electrify healthcare facilities located beyond the reach of national electricity grid.

He added Power Africa’s experience showed that off-grid solar energy systems could be rapidly deployed to even the most rural facilities.

Power Africa is an American presidential initiative launched by President Barack Obama in Tanzania during his Africa Tour in July 2013 which aims at supporting economic growth and development by increasing access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable power in Africa.

 The initiative has a goal of enabling electricity access in Africa by adding 60 million new electricity connections and 30,000 megawatts of new and cleaner power generation.

 

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