Mr. Tony Elumelu, Chairman, Heirs Holdings and Founder Tony Elumelu Foundation has called on the United States Congress to pass the ‘Electrify Africa Act’ stating that the passage in to law would make a world of difference in Africa.
“When you leave this place call your Representatives and the leadership of the House and ask them to pass the bill” Elumelu urged members of the packed audience.
The bill which would preserve and expand President Barack Obama’s Power Africa Initiative by codifying access to electricity as a U.S. foreign policy priority for Africa has already been passed by the U.S. Senate and is expected be voted on by the U.S. House of Representatives next week.
Speaking at the Mariott Hotel in Washington D.C; venue of the “Power Africa Summit” on Thursday, January 28, 2016, Elumelu commended President Obama for working through the Power Africa Initiative to mobilize the private sector to invest $43 billion in the African power sector.
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According to Mr. Elumelu, Africa must win the energy challenge if it seeks to become an industrial power in the 21st century, noting that “power outages on the continent must spark power outrages. The kind of outrage that ignites the activist in us”
Elumelu’s Heirs Holdings; a propriety Investment company, through Transcorp Power Limited has committed $2.5 billion to deliver 2,000 megawatts of electricity under the Power Africa Initiative. Already Transcorp Power is currently generating about 19% of Nigeria’s power needs with a target to increase capacity to 25% in the near future.
“Power cuts across and has impact on healthcare delivery, job creation, education, food security communications and all other sectors of the economy. It is unacceptable that 600 million Africans lack access to energy in the 21st century” Elumelu said.
The call in Washington DC, follows the joint letter to the U.S. Congress from Elumelu and President of Dangote Group, Mr. Aliko Dangote, on behalf of the African Energy Leaders Group (AELG), which they co-founded with other leaders in January 2015. The letter, similarly urged members of the U.S. House of Representatives to act swiftly and pass this critical piece of legislation to scale up U.S. efforts to help provide Africans with access to electricity.