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The most important in this week’s headlines out of and concerning Africa, for those who need help catching up.
In this week’s news, U.S. Commerce Secretary undertakes a fact-finding mission to Nigeria and Rwanda, Congress passes Electrify Africa Act, and Power Africa outlines a roadmap for the future.
U.S. Commerce Secretary, Penny Pritzker visited Nigeria, January 25, and Rwanda, January 27, in what was termed a fact-finding mission to both countries.
We’re told the Secretary’s delegation comprised of senior members of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA).
“Their charge is to provide recommendations to President Obama and me on policy steps we can take to strengthen commercial engagement between the United States and countries across Africa, including how to build lasting partnerships between the U.S. and African private sectors,” according to a statement from Pritzker during the stop in Kigali, Rwanda.
“The President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa advises the President, through the Secretary of Commerce, on ways to strengthen commercial engagement between the United States and Africa.”
Power Africa, the U.S. government-led initiative to invest an estimated $7 billion to resolve the challenges of electricity access and generation in sub-Saharan Africa took a giant step forward this week by laying out a so-called roadmap on how it plans to achieve its goals.
Thus far the project has leveraged an estimated “$43 billion in commitments from the public and private sectors, including more than $31 billion in commitments from our private sector partners, “according to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Now in its third year, Power Africa was launched by U.S. President, Barack Obama in 2013 with the aim of adding 30,000 new megawatts of clean electricity generation and connecting 60,000 new homes and businesses to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030.
Meanwhile the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Electrify Africa Act on February 1, taking steps to ensure that Power Africa initiative is fully implemented. In December 2015 the Senate, the upper chamber of the U.S. Congress, passed its version of Electrify Africa Act to move the initiative forward.