Obama defends Power Africa project - Daily Nation

Power Africa initiative on course, says Barack Obama

Saturday July 25 2015

President Obama talks with Ms June Muli, head

President Obama talks with Ms June Muli, head of customer care at M-Kopa, about solar power during the Power Africa Innovation Fair on July 25, 2015, on the sidelines of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi. PHOTO | SAUL LOEB | AFP.

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US President Barack Obama defended his "Power Africa" initiative against claims that the $7 billion plan has failed to achieve its goal of doubling access to electricity in Africa.

"We are well on our way," Obama said as he met five vendors in Nairobi using solar technology to further the project's goal of creating 30,000 megawatts of "new, cleaner electricity generation capacity".

In 2013, Obama launched the initiative to much fanfare, but reports have suggested that it has so far failed to produce any power.

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Obama insisted it was just a matter of time.

"If you wanted to start a power plant in the United States, it doesn't take a year to get that done," Obama said, commenting on those reports.

"What's happening is that financing transactions have been completed, the plans are under way and the work that is being done now you are going to start seeing."

Much of the funding for the project is expected to come from the Export-Import Bank of the United States, which has been frozen because of a political fight in Washington.