NRECA Applauds Congressional, White House Support for Electrifying Africa

Arlington, VA, July 2, 2013 — The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) praised Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Rep. Elliot Engel (D-NY) for introducing the “Electrify Africa Act” and President Barack Obama for his pledge of $7 billion to double access to power in sub-Saharan Africa. Both initiatives dovetail with projects NRECA International has been working on for years on the African continent.

“We welcome this renewed focus on electrifying Africa. As we’ve seen in America, investing in safe, reliable and affordable power pays dramatic dividends in economic development, and the same will hold true for the power plants we build and many miles of lines we string in Africa,” said Jo Ann Emerson, CEO of NRECA. “Electric cooperatives have been bringing electricity to rural areas around the globe for fifty years and appreciate our strong partnerships with USAID and others as we continue to devote significant resources through funding and on-the-ground experience to plan and build the critical infrastructure to generate and deliver electric power for the first time to communities on the African continent.”

The “Electrify Africa Act” seeks to prioritize and coordinate federal resources to achieve three goals in sub-Saharan Africa by 2020:

  • Encourage the installation of at least an additional 20,000 megawatts of electrical power
  • Promote first-time access to electricity for at least 50 million people, particularly the poor
  • Promote efficient institutional platforms that provide electrical service to rural and underserved areas

NRECA International projects and programs have created more than 250 successful rural electric enterprises in Latin America, Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The rural electric cooperatives that NRECA has formed and supported now serve more than 110 million rural beneficiaries in more than 40 countries. Learn more about international programs.

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states. NRECA International Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of NRECA, is dedicated to international economic development through electrification.