Senegal Success Story: Supporting Energy Access Through American Technology
Clare Sierawski
Clare Sierawski is the USTDA Power Africa West Africa Manager.
AdobeStock_163786987_Senegal_Saint Louis
Ndar, Senegal

Senegal Success Story: Supporting Energy Access Through American Technology

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency connects America’s private sector to infrastructure opportunities in developing and middle-income countries. A principal example of its mission is a recent success in Senegal.

In March 2017, USTDA funded a specialized training program to support plans by Senegal’s Ministry of Energy to invest in far-reaching electricity infrastructure improvements. In 2018, USTDA also hosted Senegalese energy officials on a Smart Grid Reverse Trade Mission to connect that country’s decision-makers with innovative U.S. industry and small businesses. This included a visit to the Illinois headquarters of Weldy-Lamont, which specializes in electrical power and control equipment and engineering expertise.

USTDA’s targeted support proved to be highly effective. In 2019, Weldy-Lamont was selected by the Ministry to lead its $100 million project to connect an estimated 440,000 Senegalese who lack access to power from the electricity grid. Notably, Weldy-Lamont was selected for this project over competitors supported by other foreign governments, including China. The project will also support approximately 500 jobs throughout 14 States, as Weldy-Lamont plans to utilize a large U.S. supply chain for top-quality equipment and services.

This success reflects a whole-of-U.S. government effort and confirms how the Administration’s Prosper Africa initiative is delivering key successes for U.S. companies and communities in Africa. USAID-Power Africa provided early-stage support to the project by connecting high-level Senegalese officials to U.S. government representatives. U.S. Embassy Dakar and U.S. Ambassador to Senegal Tulinabo S. Mushingi advocated on Weldy-Lamont’s behalf, as did U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross. Also, on November 5, 2019, the board of directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States approved a preliminary commitment to Senegal for approximately $86 million in financing to support U.S. exports of services and equipment for Weldy-Lamont to complete the project.

Summarizing the success, USTDA Acting Director Thomas R. Hardy said: “Weldy-Lamont’s selection is a testament to the value of their leading solutions as well as their commitment to partner with the Ministry of Energy. This project also demonstrates how USTDA and its government partners can help U.S. companies succeed in Africa while improving the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. It’s exactly what USTDA’s targeted approach can accomplish.”

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies.  USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project preparation and partnership building activities that develop sustainable infrastructure and foster economic growth in partner countries.