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June 30, 2013

Obama to unveil new program to double electricity in sub-Saharan Africa

President Barack Obama  will unevil a new $7 billion program to double electricity in sub-Africa.

Six nations -- Tanzania, Nigeria, Liberia, Kenya, Ghana and Ethiopia -- will kick off the program with the goals of providing power to 20 million homes.

Roughly two-thirds of the population of sub-Saharan Africa doesn’t have access to electricity. It’s 85 percent in some rural areas.

The $7 billion in money and resources will come from USAID, which will provide technical assistance and grants, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the Export-Import Bank.

“I think the way to think about this is that we’re not looking to provide assistance so that we can pay for everybody to turn the lights on,” said Gayle Smith, senior director for development and democracy at the National Security Council. “We’re looking to provide support and partnership so the lights can turn on and stay on.”

Already, several companies, including GE and Symbium, have made commitments worth $9 billion.

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Shankar

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Shankar

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