Open Statement on Electricity in Africa

More than 550 million people in sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to electricity. In 30 African countries, endemic power shortages are a way of life. Without a reliable power supply, women give birth in under-equipped hospitals, children’s vaccines requiring refrigeration are at risk, students are unable to study after dark and routine business transactions become extremely difficult.

One in five Africans cites infrastructure – including electricity – as their most pressing concern. Seven out of 10 business leaders across the region say the lack of affordable and reliable power is one of the most important constraints to growth.  The absence of modern energy access limits GDP growth in sub-Saharan Africa by an estimated 2 to 5% each year. With 14 million sub-Saharan Africans entering the workforce annually, government leaders are facing the political imperative to address critical and growing energy demands.

The good news is sustainable solutions to address Africa’s energy poverty can deliver immediate progress as Africa has yet to harness the majority of its energy potential from renewables and natural gas. Countries are increasingly taking the lead with bold plans to develop these resources for their national benefit. We support the more than two dozen African nations that have committed to the goal of providing universal energy access by 2030, so that people living in rural and urban areas are lifted out of poverty and can benefit from strong economic growth. We encourage catalytic support from the U.S. government and private sector in order to achieve this large scale increase in energy access. Collectively, this partnership can help provide millions of people access to modern energy which, in turn, will energize progress in all areas of human development and self-sufficiency on the continent.

Signed,

Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
President
Republic of Liberia

His Excellency Adebowale Adefuye
Ambassador to the United States
Federal Republic of Nigeria

His Excellency Daniel Ohene Agyekum
Ambassador to the United States
Ghana

His Excellency Blaise Cherif
Ambassador to the United States
Republic of Guine

His Excellency Daouda Diabaté
Ambassador to the United States
Republic of Cote d’Ivoire

His Excellency Joseph B.C. Foe-Atangana
Ambassador to the United States
Republic of Cameroon

His Excellency Al Maamoun Baba Lamine Keita
Ambassador to the United States
Republic of Mali

His Excellency Silas Lwakabamba
Minister of Infrastructure
Republic of Rwanda 

His Excellency Steve D. Matenje
Ambassador to the United States
Republic of Malawi

His Excellency Cheikh Niang
Ambassador to the United States
Republic of Senegal

His Excellency Abednego M. Ntshangase
Ambassador to the United States
Kingdom of Swaziland

His Excellency Cyrille Oguin
Ambassador to the United States
Republic of Benin

His Excellency E. Molapi Sebatane
Ambassador to the United States
Kingdom of Lesotho

His Excellency Seydou Bouda
Ambassador to the United States
Burkina Faso

His Excellency Bockari Kortu Stevens
Ambassador to the United States
Sierra Leone

His Excellency Jeremiah Congbeh Sulunteh
Ambassador to the United States
Republic of Liberia

Her Excellency Maria De Fátima Lima da Veiga
Ambassador to the United States
Republic of Cape Verde

His Excellency Oliver Wonekha
Ambassador to the United States
Republic of Uganda

African Ambassadors Group

The Honorable Bethel Nnaemeka Amadi
President
Pan-African Parliament

Amadou Mahtar Ba
Co-founder and Chair
AllAfrica.com

Nancy Birdsall
President
Center for Global Development

Erik Charas
Founder and Managing Director
Charas LDA

Tom Daschle
Former Majority Leader
Unites States Senate

Michael Elliott
President and Chief Executive Officer
The ONE Campaign

Jo Ann Emerson
Chief Executive Officer
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

Dr. Paul E. Farmer
Co-Founder
Partners in Health

Dr. Helene Gayle
President and Chief Executive Officer
CARE USA

John Githongo
Co-founder
Inuka Ni Sisi Kenya Ltd

The Rev. Mitchell C. Hescox
President/C.E.O.
The Evangelical Environmental Network

Richard Horton, BSc MB FRCP FMedSci
Editor
The Lancet

Mike Huckabee
Former Governor
State of Arkansas

General James L. Jones, USMC (Ret.)
President
Jones Group International

Julian B. Kiganda
President
African Diaspora for Change

Richard Leach
President and CEO
World Food Program USA

Cathy Leslie
Executive Director
Engineers Without Borders USA

Former Senator Richard Lugar
President
The Lugar Center 

Charles Lyons
President and Chief Executive Officer
Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation

Darius Mans
President
Africare

Carolyn Miles
President and Chief Executive Officer
Save the Children US

Ory Okolloh
Director of Africa Programs
Omidyar 

Arunma Oteh
Director General
Security and Exchange Commission in Nigeria

Lowell (Rusty) Pritchard, Ph.D.
President
Flourish/Creation Care Inc.

Jim Presswood
Executive Director
Earth Stewardship Alliance

Rakesh Rajani
Head
Twaweza

Mandla Sibeko
Chief Executive Officer
Icon South Africa

Matthew Sleeth, MD
Nancy Sleeth
Co-founders
Blessed Earth

The United Nations Foundation

Evans Wadongo
Founder and Executive Director
Sustainable Development for All—Kenya 

Jim Wallis
President
Sojourners

Meg Wirth
Founder
Maternova

World Vision

Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella
Co-Chair
UN High-Level Group on Sustainable Energy for All

 

**Signing this statement does not imply endorsement of specific legislation.**

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About ONE
ONE is a campaigning and advocacy organization of nearly 6 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Not politically partisan, we raise public awareness and press political leaders to combat AIDS and preventable diseases, increase investments in agriculture and nutrition, and demand greater transparency in poverty-fighting programs. ONE is not a grant-making organization and does not solicit funding from the public or receive government funding. ONE is funded almost entirely by foundations, individual philanthropists and corporations. We achieve change through advocacy. Our teams in Washington, D.C., New York, London, Johannesburg, Brussels, Berlin, and Paris educate and lobby governments to shape policy solutions that save and improve millions of lives. To learn more, go to ONE.org.