US President Barack Obama has promised to give sub-Saharan Africa $7 billion. The money will be distributed over the next five years and is aimed at combating frequent power blackouts throughout the region.
The project dubbed Power Africa will help stabilize power outages in rural areas. According to the White House:
“More than two-thirds of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is without electricity, and more than 85% of those living in rural areas lack access.”
While $7 billion over five years is a good start Sub-Saharan Africa requires $300 billion by 2030 if it hopes to achieve stable electricity access.
The first step will be to stabilize power delivery in Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria , Tanzania, Uganda, and Mozambique.
Furthering its statement, the White House notes:
“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.”
President Obama is not simply giving money away. The POTUS is visiting South Africa in the hopes of bolstering US investment opportunities.
The President also hopes to address concerns over Sub-Saharan Africa’s food security and overall health conditions. The President is also hoping to further promote democracy throughout the continent.
Recently, China began aggressively approaching Africa and has taken over as the continent’s largest trading partner. Speaking about China’s aggressive push into Africa ,President Obama said he is not “not threatened by it.”
Obama says of Africa’s further introduction into the world economy:
“I’m here because I think the United States needs to engage with a continent full of promise and possibility. It’s good for the United States. I welcome the attention that Africa is receiving from China, Brazil, India and Turkey.”
President Obama is still scheduled to visit Robben Island, the very location where Nelson Mandela spent much of his 27 years behind bars. The President will also visit and speak at Cape Town University.