Power Africa: Africa's Energy Sector and Concerns About Corporate-Led Solutions

13 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2014 Last revised: 18 Dec 2014

John Hosinski

Solidarity Center

Date Written: November 21, 2014

Abstract

Power Africa comes in the context of a somewhat renewed US foreign policy focus on African development. The initiative's promised investment is large but the overall model is not new. Power Africa can be seen as a throwback to a previous era in development policy when large infrastructure projects and technical know-how in fields such as education and agriculture were the norm. But a focus on existing models of aid and a reflection on the recent experience in corporate-led utility reform via privatization raises sharp concerns about Power Africa's efforts to bring modern electricity access to 60 million households. A main concern is over the level of public input from the future beneficiary consumers of Power Africa projects. This concern raises a critical point needs to be made, one that has largely been thus far ignored: that electricity is a public good.

Keywords: Energy, Africa, Development Policy

JEL Classification: O1, Q40, O55

Suggested Citation

Hosinski, John, Power Africa: Africa's Energy Sector and Concerns About Corporate-Led Solutions (November 21, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2529271 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2529271

John Hosinski (Contact Author)

Solidarity Center ( email )

888 16TH Street NW
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20006
United States

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