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The U.S. Department of State, in partnership with the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), has launched the African Utility Power Sector Exchange (AUPSE). The exchange, hosted by the Department of State’s Bureau of Energy Resources, is part of Power Africa, a U.S. Government-led initiative with the goal of increasing electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa by adding more than 30 000 megawatts of reliable, affordable, and sustainable electricity generation capacity and 60 million new home and business connections.

Electricity lines in Africa“The U.S.- AUPSE project aims to advance electric power sector reform and development in underdeveloped markets. These underdeveloped markets experience the greatest challenges to energy access. This joint initiative encourages the exchange of ideas and best practices in the management of utilities as both Africa and the United States move forward to face 21st century challenges,” the parties said in a statement.

“This public-private partnership combines the best of the private sector with U.S. diplomatic leadership to deepen and broaden U.S. support for expanding energy access and improving energy efficiency helping to modernise Africa’s electric utilities.”

The Exchange was launched at a summit held in Washington, D.C. attended by African and U.S. utility Chief Executive Officers. The summit was opened by Acting Special Envoy and Co-ordinator for the Department of State’s Bureau of Energy Resources Ambassador Mary Warlick and Tom Kuhn, President of EEI. Other keynotes included Abel Tella, Chief Executive Officer, Association of Power Utilities of Africa and Dr. Emmanuel K. Akyeampong, Ellen Gurney Professor of History and of African and African American Studies from Harvard University.

Utility CEOs from six African nations met their counterparts from the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia to discuss a range of power sector management issues such as the integration of renewable energy onto the grid, providing electricity for remote populations, and long-term sustainability.

Image credit: Copyright: zlikovec / 123RF Stock Photo

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