Last week, a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) between the governments of the US and Japan was concluded in support of the Power Africa initiative, which is aimed at increasing electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa.
The MOC, signed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the ministry of foreign affairs of Japan (MOFA), includes commitments to share strengths, expertise and resources in an effort to accelerate access to renewable energy in Africa, a press release explained.
Partnership to enhance Power Africa
The release further stated that through the MOC, USAID and MOFA seek to further align the Power Africa initiative with Japan’s relevant efforts through the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) process and will provide a foundation for collaboration in the energy sector.
Through this MOC, the government of Japan is committing to bring an additional 1,200MW of power to sub-Saharan Africa by the end of 2018.
According to the release, during TICAD’s fifth summit in 2013, Japan made a commitment to provide financial support amounting to $2 billion to promote low-carbon energy in Africa over five years.
Sharing resources and skills
Linda Etim, the head of African Affairs for the US Agency for International Development commented: “Japan is already a strong partner in Africa as evidenced by the TICAD Summit and I am certain this partnership will advance our common commitment to electrifying the continent.”
Also commenting on the newly found partnership, Power Africa's coordinator, Andrew Herscowitz, said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Japan to increase access to renewable energy for people across sub-Saharan Africa."
“With our combined resources and expertise, we are better equipped to facilitate the implementation of more low-carbon energy projects and enhance energy efficiency in existing power plants in the years to come,” Herscowitz noted.