USAID has announced that it will inject $ 2.5 million for a period of two years into the East African Power Pool (EAPP) project, to enable energy access and trading in the region.
The announcement was made on Tuesday during the two-day EAPP Steering Committee conference in Kigali, which attracted several stakeholders in the energy sector from its eight member countries and USAID officials.
“Lack of electricity is a challenge to development in the region. Lack of efficient clean power impacts everything- whether children have light to do their homework, the ability of African businesses to show profit or the willingness of international companies to invest in the region,” said Candace Buzzard, the Director of USAID, Regional Growth and Integration Office.
She added that through USAID’s partnership with EAPP, Eastern Africa would increase its capacity to exploit clean and renewable energy resources as well as harmonize regional policies and regulations for cross-border energy trade.
“There is tremendous will on the part of East African governments to solve the problem and USAID/EA is seizing the moment to help make a major impact on the quality of life by partnering with EAPP to improve the energy sector,” Buzzard said.
In a statement released by USAID/EA, it was stated that the funds will also facilitate at least three bilateral electricity trading agreements and develop cross-border protocols for rural electrification.
“USAID/EA will support a workshop in the future to enhance stakeholder electricity trading skills and to promote best practices of power pool operations from the United States and Central America,” the statement reads.
The East African Power Pool is an institution of COMESA with membership of 8 countries, whose main objective is to pool together all available electrical energy resources in the region to make electricity available and affordable in the sub region.