Power Africa

Photo by Travis Lupick


The single most important precondition for a country’s success is access to electricity. In a knowledge economy access to electricity – even a simple solar charger – is the foundation for everything; a game-changer.

Tony Blair

Without such access to electricity, small businesses can’t grow, children struggle to do their homework at night and hospitals are extremely limited in their ability to provide health care services.  That's why we are supporting the large-scale Power Africa initiative. 

Power Africa was launched in 2013 by the US Government, to help expand access to electricity across the continent. Power Africa aims to add 30,000 Megawatts of cleaner power generation across all of sub-Saharan Africa, and increase electricity access by adding 60 million new connections.

Solar power panels

Renewable energy sources are playing an important role in the expansion of electricity access in Africa. 

The Senior Advisors Group, convened by the Institute, brings together highly experienced political and private sector leaders to act as trusted partners for African leaders looking to deliver major reforms. Members of the Senior Advisors Group work closely with our in-country advisors who work shoulder to shoulder with government colleagues tasked with turning the lights on in Africa.

Every country will face unique challenges and each government will have specific priorities, whether that’s getting people in rural areas better connected to the national grid, enhancing long term planning in the energy sector, improving the performance of national energy institutions and entities, or collaborating more with private sector players and development partners. The Senior Advisors Group reflects the breadth of these challenges by bringing together world class expertise in leadership, big infrastructure and global finance.

Tony Blair speaking

Tony Blair visits a solar power plant to find out more about the progress being made on electricity provision. 

Our support to date has mainly focused on supporting governments put in place some of the most critical building blocks for a long term sustainable and efficient energy sector. This includes undertaking integrated sector-wide planning, building a financially sustainable ecosystem and defining strategies towards universal access.

On a more demand-driven basis, we also support building institutional capacity and enhancing sector management, and selectively work with our government partners to unlock barriers to the progress of specific projects.

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