LIBREVILLE, Gabon – This week, U.S. Trade and Development Agency Deputy Director Enoh T. Ebong participated in the 2015 U.S.-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum, known as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum.
“I am grateful for this opportunity to highlight USTDA’s efforts to increase trade and investment ties between the U.S. and Africa,” said Deputy Director Ebong. “The Forum included a number of valuable discussions about the development of critical infrastructure, particularly in energy, across the continent.”
USTDA funds project planning and partnership building activities that support the development of sustainable infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa. This infrastructure – including clean energy, telecommunications and transportation – forms the bedrock of sustainable economies and facilitates local, regional and global trade. The hallmark of USTDA’s assistance is establishing links between U.S. companies and African project sponsors to bring proven private sector solutions to development challenges.
Deputy Director Ebong led a panel discussion on investing in innovative solutions to solve infrastructure challenges in Africa. She also led two panels on the development of Africa’s energy resources. She was joined for a discussion of renewable energy development by some of USTDA’s partners, who highlighted their efforts to deploy solar power solutions in Tanzania and Nigeria. At another panel, Deputy Director Ebong highlighted USTDA’s work across the value chain to develop natural gas resources, including the development of a gas-fired power plant in Nigeria.
During the discussion on renewable energy, Deputy Director Ebong announced USTDA’s support for a solar project being developed by a Tanzanian company, NextGen Solawazi Limited. USTDA’s grant will fund a feasibility study to evaluate the technical and commercial viability of a 60-Megawatt solar facility in Shinyanga, Tanzania. The proposed facility would help to power an estimated 210,000 households and businesses. This will help offset carbon dioxide emissions and provide a cleaner, cheaper supply of power than current diesel generation.
This project, along with USTDA’s entire portfolio of energy projects on the continent, supports the goals of President Obama’s Power Africa initiative, which seeks to increase energy access and promote private sector investment in sub-Saharan Africa.