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Trump: Fears over possible cancelation of US deal to grow Africa’s power sector

Considering the not-yet-clear African foreign policy direction of the new US government lead by Mr. Donald Trump, many African economies who would gain from the last minute deal on electricity for Africa signed by the former US secretary of state, John Kerry and Thomas R. Kuhn, President of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) are now jittery.

The deal was signed in a joint statement of intent for collaborative action in support of the modernisation of electric utilities worldwide and Africa in particular.

The deal covered areas of shared goal of accelerating electric power sector reform and development in fragile and underdeveloped markets in which energy access challenges are most prevalent.

According to the deal, “one of the first examples of this collaboration will be the US-Africa Utility Power Sector Exchange project, State and EEI will jointly implement to advance electric power sector reform in select countries in Africa”.

The partnership will combine the best of the private sector with the State’s diplomatic leadership that seeks to deepen and broaden US support for expanding clean energy access and improving energy efficiency to help modernise Africa’s electric utilities.

In explaining what other areas the alliance will cover, the statement proclaimed: “The exchange is designed to enhance and deepen African utility CEOs’ expertise on cutting edge power sector management issues.”

It also stated that the exchange will kick-off with a summit in Washington, DC on 6 April 2017.

“This Exchange is part of Power Africa, which is a US government-led initiative with the goal of increasing electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa by adding more than 30,000MW of reliable, affordable, and sustainable electricity generation capacity and 60 million new home and business connections,” the statement said.

Energy is an essential foundation for economic growth, political stability and national security in every part of the world.

African-US affairs analysts say trump may not dump the energy scheme as it will help his government’s plan in wrestling Africa from the claws of China who has been using loans veiled with hidden charges and complicated terms and conditions.