Africa Center Visiting Fellow Aubrey Hruby writes for AllAfrica on the Power Africa initiative launched last month by President Obama:
There is no debate that lack of access to energy is one of the greatest challenges facing Africa. Electricity is a prerequisite for large scale manufacturing and job creation. Countries like Uganda, Malawi, Sierra Leone provide less than eight percent of their populations with electricity, and demand across the continent is growing by double digits every year.
Without addressing the power deficiency, widespread poverty alleviation will remain beyond reach for most African countries. It is in the face of this overwhelming need that the Power Africa initiative was launched by President Barack Obama a year ago this month. At last week’s U.S.-Africa Energy Ministerial in Addis Ababa, Power Africa’s performance over its first year was in the spotlight.