By Julius Businge
Standard Chartered Bank has committed to financing more than US$2 billion in energy projects under the Power Africa Initiative, a five-year partnership between the United States, six African governments and the private sector.
It said the partnership represents a coordinated cross-border effort to build the regulatory, economic and policy foundation in order to double access to power in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The governments of Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Liberia and a group of private-sector firms are taking part in the initiative to improve access to clean, reliable power in Africa.
The programme will add more than 10,000 megawatts of cleaner, more efficient electricity generation capacity – equivalent to 250 percent of Nigeria’s current power generation – increasing access to electricity by more than 20 million new households and businesses.
Standard Chartered is committing US$2 billion of new financing, more than 20 percent of the initial private sector contribution to Power Africa, alongside the US Government’s provision of US$7 billion of financial support.
The note said in part that more than two-thirds of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is without electricity, and more than 85 percent of those living in rural areas lack access.
It added these countries have set ambitious goals in electric power generation and are making the utility and energy sector reforms to pave the way for investment and growth.
Using its geographic coverage across 37 African countries and leading project and export finance expertise, the bank said it will work closely with U.S. agencies, including the Export-Import Bank, the Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to develop the policy framework for specific projects and the introduction of best practice for infrastructure development in Africa.
Peter Sands, the Group’s chief executive said: “Throughout our 150 years of history in Africa, we have always strived to contribute to social and economic development, financing trade and investment across the continent.
We are delighted to partner with the United States and the African Governments involved in the Power Africa Initiative to address one of Africa’s most critical infrastructure challenges.”