A Report Card for Power Africa—and How the Next President Can Do Even Better

October 27, 2016

Power Africa is President Obama’s best chance at a policy legacy in Africa. With a clear target of spurring 30,000 MW in new generation and 60 million new connections by 2030, the initiative is as ambitious as it is deeply relevant to US foreign policy objectives. Yet, Power Africa has barely gotten started and now faces a whole new administration, with its own ideas and its own priorities. The biggest risk to Power Africa is loss of momentum.

As a progress check, an early analysis of the transactions pipeline, and input to the next White House, CGD assessed Power Africa along eight dimensions. Here’s a summary:

Power Africa report card. Overall grade: A-

The Report Card concludes by recommending ways to build on the successes of Power Africa and also take steps to rectify some of the initiative’s shortcomings. The next President should:

  1. Pledge early and clearly that the United States is committed to boosting electrification in Africa and achieving the Power Africa targets.
  2. Institutionalize the authorities and leadership of Power Africa.
  3. Launch a modern full-service development finance institution.

Read the full Power Africa Report Card here


CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.