Cape Town - President Barack Obama announced on Sunday a 7-billion-dollar US government investment in power networks in Africa as well as plans to invite African leaders to a summit next year to launch a "new chapter" in relations.
Before more than 1,000 students at the University of Cape Town, Obama lamented that about two-thirds of Africans lack regular electricity. He said power was a key element of generating growth that lifted people out of poverty.
The president, who called for America to "up its game" and get more involved economically with the continent, said the private sector would also invest 9 billion dollars over a five-year period.
According to the plan, access to power should double, though this would still leave many without electricity, especially in rural areas.
Obama also said he would invite African heads of state and government to a summit next year to "launch a new chapter" in relations between the continent and the US.
While Obama has reiterated in his three-nation tour, which began last week, that "Africa is rising," he also cautioned that advances in democracy and human rights were lagging behind potential.
"There is no question Africa is on the move, but not moving fast enough for the child still languishing in poverty in a forgotten township, for the protester beaten in Harare, or the woman raped in the eastern Congo."