WASHINGTON – The ONE Campaign welcomes today’s introduction of the bipartisan Energize Africa Act (S. XX) in the US Senate. The bill is similar to the Electrify Africa Act (H.R. 2548), which passed the US House overwhelmingly in May. Both pieces of legislation aim to help African governments bring electricity access to 50 million people for the first time.
Tom Hart, US Executive Director of ONE, said:
“We applaud Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Bob Corker (R-TN) for working together on a bill that not only promises to save and improve millions of lives, but offers a new way forward for assisting Africa – government working with private sector investment – at no cost to US taxpayers. We urge Senators from both parties to co-sponsor the legislation.
The Energize Africa Act, like the Electrify Africa Act that passed the House, is a transformative piece of legislation that would help millions of people access the electricity necessary to run hospitals, schools, factories, farms, and businesses. Taken alongside President Obama’s Power Africa initiative, which aims to double energy access in sub-Saharan Africa over five years, the US is putting the critical issue of energy poverty at the heart of the international development agenda.
Tackling energy poverty is critical to ONE’s core mission of fighting global extreme poverty. We frequently hear from African leaders, citizens, and development experts that one of the biggest challenges for overcoming extreme poverty is the inability for millions of people to access basic electricity.”