GREAT NEWS: The House of Representatives just passed the bipartisan Electrify Africa Act!
This bill will help sub-Saharan African countries modernize their power infrastructure and increase their access to electricity—saving lives, strengthening education, alleviating extreme poverty, and accelerating growth and development. The legislation passed the Senate in December and heads now to the White House for President Obama’s signature.
We couldn’t have done it without you. For the past four years, ONE members have signed petitions, written letters, sent tweets, and made calls in an effort to ask Congress to pass this bill. It wasn’t easy. At the end of the last Congress, we had to start all over again after falling just short to pass the bill in the Senate at the end of 2014. But ONE members kept using their voices and this year, we finally got the job done. Hundreds of thousands of our members took an action in the last four years and to all of them we say THANK YOU for using your voice and making a difference.
ONE’s US Executive Director Tom Hart made the announcement:
“This is a powerful moment in the fight against extreme poverty. This bipartisan bill will leverage partnerships with the private sector to bring first-time electricity access to 50 million people, powering schools, hospitals, factories, farms, and businesses in underserved parts of Africa. The Electrify Africa Act will bring us one significant step closer in our fight to end extreme poverty.
In sub-Saharan Africa, seven in 10 people do not have access to electricity, forcing many women to give birth in under-equipped hospitals, and putting childhood vaccines that require refrigeration at risk. The lack of electricity also forces families to cook meals over open flames, and students to study beside kerosene lamps, filling their homes with toxic fumes.
Over the past few months, hundreds of ONE members around the country have delivered a combined 360,000 signed petitions to their leaders in Congress urging them to support this legislation. We have fought tirelessly for this bill over the last two years, and are ecstatic about its passage today.”
There will be more to come as we reach out to our members, members of Congress, and everyone who helped along the way, so stay tuned.