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ONE applauds Trudeau decision to partner with U.S. on electrification in Africa

Power Africa is having a transformative impact on the fight against extreme poverty

WASHINGTON — The ONE Campaign today enthusiastically welcomed Prime Minister Trudeau’s announcement that Canada will partner with the United States on its Power Africa program, which leverages public-private partnerships between American energy companies and African governments to expand the electricity grid on the continent.

Stuart Hickox, Canada director for The ONE Campaign, said:

“This is a smart move by the Trudeau government, and a sophisticated way of expanding Canada’s positive influence on the African continent.

“Seven in 10 people living in sub-Saharan Africa don’t have access to electricity, stifling how schools, hospitals factories, farms, and businesses can operate. Think about it: without electricity, too many women have no choice but to give birth in under-equipped hospitals. Not enough children can get the vaccines they need to grow up healthy because they must be refrigerated. In too many homes in sub-Saharan Africa, the lack of electricity forces families to cook meals over open flames, and students to study beside kerosene lamps, both of which fill their homes with toxic fumes. Businesses can’t use most modern technologies and have trouble growing and creating jobs. Addressing energy poverty is a fundamental part of of ending extreme poverty.

“The goal of Power Africa is to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa by building strategic partnerships between African governments, private investors, and energy companies. It’s really a symbol of innovation in foreign assistance — leveraging economic partnership rather than economic assistance.”