U.S. Trade and Development Agency

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                    CONTACT:  Donna Thiessen 

                                                                                                                                                         (703) 875-4357


Grant is the Second of Three USTDA Awards to Address Power Needs in Southern Africa


WINDHOEK, NAMIBIA Ė (August 25, 2005) Support for strategies to meet the growing demand for electricity in Southern Africa as part of the economic development goals of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is the focus of a U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) grant awarded today to the Namibian Electricity Control Board (ECB), the electricity regulatory body of Namibia.  The $275,700 technical assistance grant was conferred in a grant signing ceremony held at ECBís headquarters.  The Honorable Joyce A Barr, United States Ambassador to Namibia, and Mr. Siseho C. Simasiku, Chief Executive Officer, signed the grant on behalf of the U.S. government and ECB, respectively.


Like many members of the Southern Africa Power Pool, Namibia is preparing for 2007, when it is expected that the region will experience greater demand for electric power than the available supply.  The government of Namibia has determined that the best course of action to address this impending power deficit is to invite private sector participation in the sector.


To support this effort, the USTDA grant will fund technical assistance that will help the ECB to develop a formalized electricity market model with a focus on facilitating investments by Independent Power Purchasers and Independent Transmission Companies in Namibia.  The grant will also help to establish the infrastructure necessary to support the economic development goals of AGOA, which provides beneficiary countries in sub-Saharan Africa with preferential access to the U.S. market.   


The grant is the second of three totaling more than $1.25 million that USTDA is awarding to assist countries in meeting the regionís growing demand for energy.  The first grant was awarded earlier this week to fund financial advisory services on the development of the Mmamabula Coal-Fired Power Plant in Botswana.  Another grant will be awarded in the near future to lay the groundwork for a concession on the development of two hydropower plants on the Lurio River in Mozambique.


The opportunity to provide the technical assistance to the ECB will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities website at  Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals directly to the ECB for consideration, following the instructions in the Federal Business Opportunities announcement.  The ECB will select the U.S. contractor that will provide the assistance.


The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries.  The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, feasibility studies, training, orientation visits and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment.  USTDAís strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development.  In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.