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U.S. hopeful on ‘Power Africa’ project in Nigeria, others

  According to Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the tremendous progress in working with initial countries like Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Liberia, Ghana and Tanzania that are part of Power Africa have given the U.S. government hope that the project would succeed.

“We have made tremendous progress in working with the six initial countries that are part of Power Africa, and working with the private sector to ensure that we get more investment on the continent.

“So, we have moved forward in working with these companies that are looking at how they might improve power on the continent of Africa. And from everything I’ve heard in speaking with companies and countries – I was just in Malabo – there was great excitement about Power Africa and the improvements that have been made in terms of companies investing in power on the continent and countries opening up markets so that it is easier to invest in power on the continent,” she said.

She added: “We’ve made a great deal of progress. We’re looking forward to sharing that progress with African leaders during the summit in August and seeing how we can further the efforts to improve power on the continent of Africa. I think everything is open for a discussion in terms of how we improve energy availability on the continent of Africa. And the CEOs – there will be some energy-related CEOs, I think, are prepared and ready to invest. We’ve seen that. We have seen billions of dollars being put on the table for investing in energy in Africa.

“And energy can come in lots of different forms, and hydro is a major form of energy that is clean energy that is a possibility.”

On the expiration of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), she said: “As you know, the AGOA legislation expires in September of 2015. The President has announced that there will be seamless renewal. How long it will be extended is the prerogative of our Congress, our legislature, and they are looking at the AGOA legislation now, and it is our hope that they will make a decision on extension in – before the September 15th, 2015 deadline. How long that extension will be I’m not at liberty to say. We’re all waiting for that decision.”

Ahead of the African Leaders Summit holding next month in New York, leaders from Sudan, Eritrea and Zimbabwe would not be part of the meeting, however, Linda Thomas-Greenfield said those not invited are countries suspended by the African Union (AU) as well as those not in good standing with the U.S. government.

 

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