Administrator Samantha Power and Rockefeller Foundation Executive Vice President Elizabeth Yee signed a memorandum of understanding today forming the basis of a strategic partnership between USAID, Power Africa, and the newly launched Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP).

The partnership was signed during an official ceremony in the SDG 7 Pavilion at COP 26, with Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Coons making remarks both as part of the U.S. delegation and as original sponsors of the 2015 Electrify Africa Act, which established Power Africa. Senators Tammy Baldwin, Richard Durbin and Kirsten Gillibrand from the U.S. delegation also attended, with Power Africa Coordinator Mark Carrato participating as signatory witness and speaker.

Dr. Andrew Steer, President and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund, an anchor partner in the Alliance, engaged in a fireside chat with Administrator Power at the signing event to explain the genesis of the effort, how it addresses both energy poverty and climate change simultaneously, and the critical role of country and local partnerships.

By working together at both the strategic and operational levels, USAID, Power Africa, The Rockefeller Foundation, IKEA Foundation, Bezos Earth Fund and nearly two dozen public and private sector partners seek to seize the opportunity to realize universal, clean energy generation and access for sub-Saharan Africa by accelerating new distributed renewable energy (DRE) and grid-based solutions through GEAPP.

By working together at both the strategic and operational levels, USAID, Power Africa, and The Rockefeller Foundation seek to seize the opportunity to realize universal, clean energy generation and access for sub-Saharan Africa by accelerating new distributed renewable energy (DRE) and grid-based solutions through GEAPP.

The partnership has the following strategic goals and objectives:

  • Ending Energy Poverty – By 2030, deliver reliable and affordable electricity access to all households, businesses, and institutions in sub-Saharan Africa, using a mix of on- and off-grid solutions and prioritizing higher tiers of energy access for productive use.
  • Combating Climate Change – Seize the opportunity to set sub-Saharan Africa on a clean energy pathway, including the acceleration of the DRE market, thus avoiding 626 million tons of CO2, and accelerating the continent’s grid-based clean energy transition, bringing the share of renewables to at least 50% by 2030.
  • Strengthening the Enabling Environment for Clean Energy – Partner with African governments to deliver on the reforms needed to reach universal access using clean energy sources, including the design of power systems that use large shares of variable renewable energy, climate-friendly rural electrification, integrated resource planning, and utility-enabled DRE.

Since 2013, Power Africa has delivered first-time electricity to more than 118 million people across sub-Saharan Africa and connected more than 25 million homes and businesses to on- and off-grid energy solutions by adding 12.5 gigawatts of capacity.

Power Africa officially has 170 public and private sector partners, including a dozen U.S. government agencies.

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