OPIC is a key partner in the U.S. Power Africa initiative aimed at doubling the number of people in Sub-Saharan Africa who have access to electricity. In 2015, OPIC surpassed its initial pledge of $1.5 billion to Power Africa, with financing and political risk insurance to a variety of power projects from Kenya to Ghana. To date, OPIC has committed $2.1 billion in financing and insurance commitments towards 22 Power Africa projects. These investments will lead to the development of more than 1,700 MW of new power generation in Africa.
Both the need for investment to increase access to electricity, and the opportunity for investors is significant in Sub-Saharan Africa. The continent is home to many of the world’s fastest growing economies, as well as about 600 million people – about 70 percent of the population – who have no regular access to electricity.
Getting major power projects off the ground. OPIC has a long history of supporting major infrastructure projects that require large investments of time and money. To help private investors commit to power projects in Africa, OPIC worked with several other U.S. Government agencies to develop the Bankable PPA, which outlines 10 essential elements for a power purchase agreement between a power producer and offtaker. This contract, which is needed before construction can proceed on a major power plant, includes agreements about pricing, guidelines for dispute resolution, and protection against outside events like foreign currency devaluation or political shifts.