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CGD Blog Examines ‘Power Africa’ Initiative

“On a sub-continent where 600 million people don’t have regular access to electricity, an initiative that would bring electricity to 20 million households in six countries might feel like a drop in the proverbial unlit bucket, but it’s an exciting start — and one that could be amped up by the Electrify Africa Act of 2013,” Todd Moss, vice president for programs and a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD), and Beth Schwanke, senior associate for policy outreach at CGD, write in the center’s “Rethinking U.S. Foreign Assistance Blog” in a post examining President Obama’s Power Africa initiative announced on June 30 in Cape Town. But “beyond just cheering on the substance, here are the big process things we’ll be watching for to see if Power Africa is going to succeed or be just another showy announcement,” they state, and examine the following questions: “Who’s in charge?”; “Is this just a repackaging of existing projects [plus] new buzzwords?”; “How will the U.S. involve the African Development Bank and other [multilateral development banks (MDBs)]?”; and “Will the administration seize or buck the Electrify Africa Act?” (7/18).