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FACT SHEET: U.S-Africa Partnership in Supporting Conservation, Climate Adaptation and a Just Energy Transition

  • Politics

During the U.S.-African Leaders Summit, held December 13-15 in Washington DC, the United States affirmed and expanded its enduring partnerships with African governments, the private sector, civil society, and philanthropic actors in recognition of the pivotal role African governments, institutions, and peoples will play in addressing one of the greatest global challenges of our time – climate change.  Many of the most vulnerable countries to climate change are in Africa, and the partnerships highlighted at the Summit will be essential to bolstering their resilience. 

At the United Nations Climate Meeting (COP27) in November 2022, President Biden announced U.S. plans to provide over $150 million in new funding to accelerate the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE) (see Fact Sheet: President Biden Announces New Initiatives at COP27 to Strengthen U.S. Leadership in Tackling Climate Change).  He emphasized the U.S. commitment to help vulnerable countries and communities in Africa adapt to and manage the impacts of climate change as part of PREPARE’s work across the African continent.   

Since January 2021, the Biden-Harris Administration has invested and plans to provide at least $1.1 billion to support African-led efforts to support conservation, climate adaptation, and a just energy transition. These investments include infrastructure projects under the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII).

New initiatives include:

  • Power Africa: In 2021, Power Africa-supported renewable energy projects helped prevent 6.2 million tons of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of burning 6.8 billion pounds of coal.  Since 2013, Power Africa has helped deliver access to electricity to nearly 165 million people across sub-Saharan Africa.  The Biden-Harris Administration has invested $193 million to support Power Africa and plans to provide another $100 million in FY 2023.  New initiatives include: 
    • U.S.-Africa Clean Tech Energy Network (CTEN): Power Africa, in partnership with Prosper Africa, launched CTEN, which connects U.S. and African cleantech energy companies to market opportunities where project-ready technology can increase access to reliable electricity.  CTEN aims to facilitate up to $350 million in deals within the first five years. 
    • Health Electrification and Telecommunications Alliance (HETA): Power Africa intends to operationalize a $150 million public- private partnership to electrify 10,000 health facilities in sub-Saharan Africa, bolstering sector resources to advance pandemic resilience and digital connectivity and decarbonize health-sector footprint (see Fact Sheet:  U.S.- Africa Partnership in Health Cooperation).
    • Growing Green Jobs for Women: Power Africa will launch a new initiative focused in Nigeria to advance women’s participation in the energy sector’s transition to clean energy technologies.
  • Accelerating Women’s Empowerment in Energy (AWEE): The Department of State announced the Accelerating Women’s Empowerment in Energy (AWEE) project with an initial investment of $1 million to help secure women’s economic futures through green jobs, with a focus on Kenya and South Africa.  The program will provide grants to local organizations to address barriers to women’s entry, promotion, and retention in the clean energy sector and increase women’s participation in the clean energy workforce.
  • The Climate Action Infrastructure Facility (CAIF): USAID intends to contribute $10 million in Africa to facilities and funds that bring private investors and donors together to support large-scale climate solutions.  CAIF will enable USAID to contribute to facilities and funds that bring multiple investors and donors together to invest in large-scale climate solutions in emerging and frontier markets. 
  • U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) investments: Since January 2021, DFC has committed more than $438 million to climate-linked projects in Africa to advance renewable energy and related supply chains, electric mobility, ecosystem conservation, food security and agriculture, energy efficiency, green hydrogen, and green finance.  At the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, DFC announced:
    • $25 million loan to Golomoti JCM Solar Corporation Limited in Malawi for the first solar power plant in sub-Saharan Africa with a grid-connected battery energy storage system that will help ensure dependable supply and reduce frequent blackouts.  This Power Africa project builds on a previous USTDA-funded feasibility study and indirect MCC support.
    • In FY 2022, more than $180 million in funds providing renewable energy solutions, including the Mirova Gigaton Fund, SDG Investment Fund, the Africa Renewable Energy Fund II, and the SunFunder Solar Energy Transformation Fund.
  • Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compacts: The MCC Compacts signed earlier this year with the governments of Lesotho and Malawi provide over $110 million of adaptation financing.
  • United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) Investments: Bolstering Power Africa, USTDA is investing nearly $4 million to support a just energy transition across several African countries. These investments include:
    • Biomass power plant in Cote d’Ivoire: A $1 million grant to help develop a 25-megawatt biomass powerplant in Cote d’Ivoire.  The plant will supply power to the Ivoirian national grid by transforming agricultural waste to clean energy, easing the carbon footprint of the country’s flourishing cotton sector.
    • Clean hydroelectric power in Sierra Leone: $857,000 to support supplementary engineering and environmental studies for the implementation of a 27-megawatt run-of-river hydroelectric plant in Sierra Leone.
    • Battery energy storage technology project in Zambia: $1 million investment to develop and pilot a utility-scale energy storage site, which could reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 26,000 metric tons CO2 equivalent per year while providing more sustainability, resilience, and reliability to Zambia’s power grid.
  • Department of Energy Partnerships: The U.S. Department of Energy announced a series of new partnerships to support a just energy transition, including with:
    • Kenya to implement direct air capture with geothermal energy to remove 1,000-10,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year.
    • Morocco to launch the Solar Decathlon Africa Design Challenge, a biennial competition that challenges teams of university students across the continent to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses.  Teams will formulate and share new concepts on clean building design appropriate for African contexts.
    • Mozambique to expand domestic energy access, support responsible natural gas and renewable energy development, and add economic value to critical minerals production and processing.
    • The African Center of Excellence for Carbon Management Technology and Innovation to foster an enabling environment for commercial deployment of carbon management in Nigeria, to be expanded to other Sub-Saharan African countries.
  • Nuclear Cooperation: The United States strengthened cooperation on nuclear energy, including:
    • Announcing the commencement of negotiations with Ghana for a 123 Agreement to set up a legal framework for civil nuclear cooperation, to include the potential provision of nuclear reactors and material as well as civil nuclear studies and training programs.
    • Signing Nuclear Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding with Kenya to signal that both parties seek to further our civil nuclear cooperation, and announcing new joint work on civil nuclear studies.
    • Launching new civil nuclear studies with Ghana and Kenya and technical training programs in Ghana.
  • The HEat and HEalth African Transdisciplinary Center (HE2AT Center): National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched the HE2AT Center, which will help develop innovative solutions to mitigate the health impacts of climate change in Africa, including early warning and monitoring systems.  The Center also aims to build capacity on data science and climate change and to be a resource for climate change initiatives across the continent (see Fact Sheet:  U.S.- Africa Partnership in Health Cooperation).
  • Partnership Opportunity Delegation (POD): The State Department announced a new POD to Ghana to cultivate and enable partnership opportunities between the U.S. private sector and West Africa’s burgeoning climate innovation ecosystem.
  • Peace Corps Climate Change Initiative: Over the next year, the Peace Corps will launch a climate initiative that will include support for Volunteers and staff in up to 24 sub-Saharan African countries.  As many as 700 Volunteers will work with host country partners to contribute to national priorities and plans to address climate change.  Volunteers and their host communities will work together to increase adaptive capacities and build resilience of individuals, organizations, communities and ecosystems, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon.
  • U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) Off-grid Energy Grants: USADF announced three Off-grid Energy Challenges (healthcare, agriculture, and women in energy) through which the agency will provide grants to African enterprises to promote market-based solutions that connect businesses to electricity and impact marginalized communities. 

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Source: White House