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Business News of Friday, 5 July 2013

Source: Daily Graphic

Stanchart commits $2bn to improve energy supply in Africa

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Standard Chartered has committed itself to financing more than US$2 billion energy projects under the Power Africa Initiative.

The bank is partnering with the United States of America (USA) and African governments, including Ghana, to accelerate power investment. The other governments are; Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Liberia.

Also, private-sector firms are taking part in the initiative to improve access to clean, reliable power in Africa.

For instance, Power Africa will add more than 10,000 megawatts of cleaner, more efficient electricity generation capacity — equivalent to 250 per cent of Nigeria’s current power generation; increasing access to electricity by more than 20 million new households and businesses.

The partnership represents a coordinated cross-border effort to build the regulatory, economic and policy foundation in order to double access to power in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered, Mr Peter Sands, said in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, during President Barrack Obama’s visit; “Throughout our 150 years of history in Africa, we have always strived to contribute to social and economic development, financing trade and investment across the continent”.

“We are delighted to partner with the United States and African governments involved in the Power Africa Initiative to address one of Africa’s most critical infrastructure challenges,” he added.

He noted that Standard Chartered is committing US$2 billion of new financing, more than 20 per cent of the initial private sector contribution to Power Africa, alongside the US government’s provision of US$7 billion of financial support.

“More than two-thirds of the population of sub-Sahara Africa is without electricity, and more than 85 per cent of those living in rural areas lack access,” a White House statement had said.

The statement also noted that “These countries have set ambitious goals in electric power generation and are making the utility and energy sector reforms to pave the way for investment and growth.”

Using its geographic coverage across 37 African countries and leading project and export finance expertise, Standard Chartered will work closely with US agencies, including the Export-Import Bank, the Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to develop the policy framework for specific projects and the introduction of best practice for infrastructure development in Africa.

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