Launched in 2013, Power Africa’s goal, to add more than 30,000 megawatts (MW) of cleaner, more efficient electricity generation capacity and 60 million new home and business connections depends on having secure rights to use the land required for energy infrastructure projects.
Power Africa will build on Africa’s enormous power potential, including new discoveries of vast reserves of oil and gas, and the potential to develop clean geothermal, hydro, wind and solar energy, which will not only provide for important electricity needs but also reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. Such clean energy development can provide an economic boon, especially in Africa, where research suggests that renewable sources can provide all of the power needed by the continent at a reasonable cost. Power Africa will help countries develop newly-discovered resources responsibly, build out power generation and transmission, and expand the reach of mini-grid and off-grid solutions.
And viable energy infrastructure projects are more likely to take place and less likely to have a negative effect on local land rights’ holders if both local communities and investors alike have secure tenure. What is more, investors are likely to face less risk and a greater likelihood of a reasonable return on their investment in settings where all legitimate land rights—formal and customary—are secure, as the project is less likely to encounter conflicts over land or challenges from people whose lives have been adversely affected.
More information about Power Africa can be found on USAID’s website.