News & Insights
As we all get ready to celebrate Independence Day and our collective spirit of patriotism, it’s a good time to reflect on U.S. generosity around the world. When President Obama pledged $7 billion to support energy access in sub-Saharan Africa this week, we at Global Partnerships nodded in support. The “Power Africa” initiative that the President announced is not so much about energy as it is about empowering families to help lift themselves out of poverty.
He put the need more eloquently: “Access to electricity is fundamental to opportunity in this age. It’s the light that children study by, the energy that allows an idea to be transformed into a real business,” Obama said while speaking to students at Cape Town University in South Africa today. “It’s the lifeline for families to meet their most basic needs, and it’s the connection that’s needed to plug Africa into the grid of the global economy.”
Worldwide, over 1.3 billion people live without access to electricity. Of those, roughly 30 million live in Latin America and the Caribbean. In under a year, Global Partnerships has invested $500K towards sustainable solar-lighting projects for off-grid families in Latin America and Haiti.
As an impact investor, we’ve seen the transformative power of solar lights. And as an OPIC investee, we applaud OPIC’s $1.5 billion investment in addressing the global energy access gap through the President’s “Power Africa” initiative.
- CNN video on President Obama’s $7 billion pledge to power Africa.
- Read about the International Energy Agency’s global status on modern energy access.
- Check out ONE's blog post on 6 ways energy poverty threatens healthcare of people living in poverty.