‘Africa is tired of being in the dark’ says Akinwumi Adesina, AFDB President

“Africa is tired of being in the dark,” says Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, African Development Bank President, who recently launched the Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa, an initiative in line with the Power Africa Roadmap launched on Thursday at the Powering Africa Summit.

“Lack of electricity puts a break on Africa’s economic growth and development,” Adesina adds, as he spoke at the World Economic Forum last week. “I applaud President Obama’s leadership and bold Power Africa Initiative.”

“To accelerate universal access to electricity in Africa by 2025, the African Development Bank developed the New Deal on Energy for Africa and launched the Transformative Partnership on Energy for Africa. Working together with Power Africa, private sector, development partners and African governments, we will light up and power Africa.”

Power Africa partners launched a roadmap to meet U.S. President Barack Obama’s goals of adding 30,000 megawatts and 60 million connections across sub-Saharan Africa by 2030. To ensure this goal is achieved, the U.S. Government committed an initial $7 billion that has leveraged nearly $43 billion in commitments from over 120 public and private sector partners.

The Power Africa Roadmap outlines how it will add 30,000 MW by maximizing value from existing transactions, advancing new opportunities for deal flow, and increasing the efficiency of existing generation. It also highlights how Power Africa will add 60 million connections by scaling up grid roll-out programs and intensifying its Beyond the Grid efforts.

“With a robust financial foundation in place and an expanding group of partners committed to producing results, Power Africa is breaking the logjam on energy infrastructure and keeping eager capital flowing to worthy projects,” said U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Gayle Smith.

According to him, the newly launched Roadmap lays out a clear path to achieving Obama’s ambitious vision of bringing electricity to 60 million African homes and businesses. He says the Power Africa Tracking Tool offers unprecedented insight into the actual deals that will facilitate that success.

The Power Africa Tracking Tool (PATT) which was also launched on Thursday allows for easy, real-time tracking of transactions across the continent. It provides previously unavailable data that will increase transparency and drive the competitiveness of African markets.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim also noted that despite sub-Saharan Africa’s renewable energy riches, only one in three people has access to power. According to him, the region loses 2.1 percent of gross domestic product from blackouts alone. “We must find solutions — in our partnerships with African governments and the Power Africa initiative — that will give millions of African people the opportunity for a better life with something most of us take for granted: access to electricity,” Kim said.

U.S. President Obama launched Power Africa in 2013 — a partnership to help double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa, working with African governments, the private sector, and bilateral and multilateral development partners.