Governments of U.S. and Israel to partner on supporting energy development in Africa

Olkaria III plant by Ormat (source: video screenshot)
Alexander Richter 6 Dec 2017

The U.S. Government and the Government of Israel have signed an MOU on increasing access to energy in sub-Saharan Africa through innovative partnerships between private enterprise, African governments, and foreign assistance.

On Monday this week, the Government of the United States and the Government of Israel entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to advance the common goals of reducing energy poverty and increasing access to energy in sub-Saharan Africa through innovative partnerships between private enterprise, African governments, and foreign assistance, as reported by USAID.

The U.S. Government will implement this MOU through the Power Africa Coordinator’s Office, led by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). At the ceremony to inaugurate the MOU, attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Power Africa Coordinator Andrew Herscowitz, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman signed the MOU on behalf of the United States and noted that: “This partnership will leverage cutting-edge technical expertise from the U.S. and Israel, thanks to our innovative private companies who are motivated to work with our governments to accelerate Africa’s development — particularly in the energy sector.”

Eli Groner, Director-General of the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, made the following statement: “The U.S.-Israel relationship is based on shared values and aligned interests. This is yet another manifestation of our collaboration to make the world a better place.”

The Government of Israel will implement this MOU through the Prime Minister’s Office, in conjunction with the Ministry of Economy and Industry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Energy and Innovation Authority. Collaboration with Power Africa will focus on strengthening economic ties and cooperation with African countries.

Through this partnership, the United States and Israel intend to collaborate on the following issues to accelerate progress towards our shared goals under Power Africa:

  • Increase outreach and collaboration among U.S. and Israeli companies to improve access to finance and explore investment opportunities;
  • Deepen collaboration to expand electricity access;
  • Expand on-grid renewable, and off-grid efforts to extend energy across sub-Saharan Africa; and
  • Encourage new projects involving Israeli and U.S. companies throughout the African continent.

With an operating geothermal power plant by Ormat Technology, a Reno/ Nevada headquartered company founded in Israel, there are great opportunities of this partnership on developing renewable energy projects, and hopefully geothermal projects in Eastern Africa.

Power Africa is a U.S. Government-led partnership coordinated by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Launched in 2013, Power Africa’s goals are to increase electricity access in sub- Saharan Africa by adding more than 30,000 megawatts of electricity generation capacity and 60 million new home and business connections. Power Africa works with African governments and private sector partners to remove barriers that impede energy development in sub-Saharan Africa and to unlock the substantial natural gas, wind, solar, hydropower, biomass, and geothermal resources on the continent. To date, Power Africa has leveraged over $50 billion in commitments from the public and private sectors, including more than $40 billion in commitments from the private sector.

Source: USAID release