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Despite $7bn to ‘Power Africa,’ why the continent is still in the dark

When President Barack Obama made his first presidential visit to Kenya over the weekend, he visited not just his ancestral home, but one of the target countries in his $7bn signature foreign aid initiative, Power Africa. 

Launched in 2013, Power Africa aims to boost electricity access in Sub-Saharan Africa. The initiative has prioritised expanding the continent’s capacity to generate electricity, with an additional focus on small-scale renewable energy investments. This is a useful first step. But investing in generation alone will be useless without addressing the economic and institutional obstacles to distributing electricity to homes and businesses. 

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