Coordinator’s Corner — August 2018

Continuing to Press Onward

It feels great to be back in Africa after two straight months on the road, mostly in the United States — alternately working and enjoying a much-needed rest with my family. One highlight was a 3-day U.S. Outreach Tour, where I met with dozens of Americans in Michigan and Ohio who are eager to work with Africans in the energy sector. While many of us took some time off, things did not slow down — we’re thrilled to report that we kept our momentum going towards big achievements for Power Africa.

We’ve reached financial close on 117 projects that will generate 9,529 megawatts (MW). We got our biggest “bump” in MW from South Africa, where we’ve had teams of people for the last six months supporting the Renewable Independent Power Project Procurement (REIPPP) office, which had a backlog of 27 power projects (2,300 MW) that had been stuck for two years. 24 of those 27 projects now have reached financial close thanks in part to the efforts of our teams. Aside from South Africa, IFC’s Scaling Solar Round 1 in Zambia (with USAID support) successfully closed 2 projects for an additional 75.7MWs. Additionally, the Taiba N’Diaye wind power project closed in Senegal, which will deliver up to 158.7 MWs of much-needed clean, reliable, and competitively priced energy. There also is a 6.9 MW hydro project in Uganda that reached financial close. Power Africa’s connections increased to 12.4 million including 56,000 new grid connections in Nigeria as a result of the Power Africa Transaction Reform Program’s (PATRP) continued success working to improve efficiencies in several distribution companies.

Many “Firsts”

We did not just see progress in South Africa, though. I am struck by how many “firsts” have occurred since the last update. During this period we saw Senegal’s first utility-scale wind farm come to financial close (Taiba N’Diaye 158.7 MWs); USTDA’s first grant for a cocoa-biomass project in Cote d’Ivoire; Uganda became the first African country to sign an agreement with the Regional Liquidity Support Facility; the African Development Bank launched the first Electricity Regulatory Index for Africa; and Malawi’s ESCOM signed its first long-term PPA with a developer for a 41 MW hydropower project.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross visits Ghana. 
Secretary Ross and the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA) delegation announced over $1 billion in private-sector deals during their trip in early June. Secretary Ross and Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta signed a “Memorandum of Understanding for the Development and Implementation of Strategic Energy, Transportation and Other Priority Projects in Ghana.” The MOU provides a roadmap whereby the Government of Ghana will identify priority projects in key sectors important for its development goals, and we will share that information with U.S. companies that can undertake those projects. The MOU also establishes a forum for addressing and resolving business climate issues that impede U.S. company participation in the Ghanaian market.

Power Africa Updates MOUs with Ghana, Ethiopia, and Kenya. 
In Ghana, we signed a refreshed, Power Africa specific MOU on the heels of the PAC-DBIA visit. In Ethiopia, Power Africa updated the MOU with a signing ceremony including the Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, H.E. Alemayehu Tegenu, and U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, Michael Raynor. The Ethiopia MOU emphasizes increased institutional strengthening and supports legal and regulatory reforms. Power Africa’s updated MOU with the Government of Kenya outlines areas of Power Africa focus in Kenya and is in alignment with the Power Africa 2.0 Strategy, as well as the government of Kenya’s objectives of ensuring universal electrification by 2022. Emphasis will be placed on providing support to the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KETRACO), Kenya Power, and the Energy Regulatory Commission.

Power Africa Gas Roadmap to 2030 and the Natural Gas Roadmap for Southern Africa launched at the World Gas Conference. 
On June 27 at the World Gas Conference in Washington, D.C., Power Africa launched these two gas roadmaps. The Power Africa Gas Roadmap builds on the general Power Africa Roadmap to outline a plan for achieving up to 16,000 MW of additional gas-fired power generation by 2030, which represents over 50% of Power Africa’s top line goal.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry notes in the opening how the U.S. position as a leader in the global gas market creates an ideal synergy for American and African companies to work together on gas export and import projects. Through the Natural Gas Roadmap for Southern Africa, Power Africa is now supporting the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in developing the SADC regional gas master plan. The expanded integration of natural gas into Southern Africa’s energy mix, as well as its industrial and petrochemicals sectors, was strongly endorsed at the 37th Summit of the SADC Heads of State and government, which took place in South Africa in August last year. By the next summit, which is scheduled for August in Windhoek, Namibia, a report must be produced outlining SADC’s approach to the development of regional gas resources.

We look forward to working with you all in the coming months to finish 2018 on a strong note. As always, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to me or my team.

Andrew M. Herscowitz
Coordinator for Power Africa

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