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President Obama Creates Power Africa Initiative

Max Meyer |
June 30, 2013 | 12:51 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer


President Obama with President Zuma along with their wives. (Lawrence Jackson, Creative Commons)
President Obama with President Zuma along with their wives. (Lawrence Jackson, Creative Commons)
United States President Barack Obama has pledged $7 billion to help fight against the common power blackouts in Africa. The initiative created on Sunday, called Power Africa, will occur over the next five years. Obama introduced the new program in a speech at the University of Cape Town. 

"More than two-thirds of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa is without electricity, and more than 85% of those living in rural areas lack access," said the White House in a statement. 

The Obama administration also mentioned that it could cost at least $300 billion to create universal access to power by 2030 in Africa. 

Ethopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania will initially be the first countries focused in the program. The goal is to add more than 10,000 megawatts of cleaner and more efficient electricity generation to these six countries and to impact at least 20 million new homes and businesses, according to Bloomberg

MORE: Nelson Mandela In Critical Condition

Obama's announcement came during his trip in South Africa, where he met with several people including President Jacob Zuma. The president ended his trip on Sunday by visiting the prison cell of anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela. 

While Obama met with relatives and spoke on the telephone with Mandela's wife Graca Machel, the family wished that he not see the critically ill Mandela.



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