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Energy challenge winners to be announced

20 November 2013, 16:18

Abuja - The winners of the General Electric-US African Development Foundation (USADF) Off-Grid Energy Challenge will be announced in Lagos on Thursday.

This was disclosed in a document obtained from US Embassy in Abuja.

Winners are set to emerge in Kenya and Nigeria.

The Off-Grid Energy Challenge is the initiative of global infrastructure giant General Electric (GE) and the USADF. It is part of the Power Africa initiative, announced by President Obama during his recent visit to Africa. The Power Africa initiative seeks to drive growth in Africa by increasing access to reliable, affordable and sustainable power and by helping to ensure responsible, transparent and effective management of energy resources on the continent.

USADF, a public corporation of the US federal government, funds African enterprises, cooperatives and community-based organizations to build capacity and expand economic activities. Active in 17 countries, with more than 350 project grants, USADF is benefiting more than a million and a half Africans.

It said over the next three years, no fewer than 20 individuals and indigenous African companies who come up with innovative solutions that address the energy challenges of African communities and businesses stand a chance of winning up to $100 000 in grants to support their initiatives.

USADF President and CEO, Shari Berenbach, said the energy initiative would help leverage more marginalized and underserved communities into positions where they can benefit from inclusive economic growth.

Over the last 30 years, she said, the USADF has championed initiatives that have helped Africans out of poverty.

“We are proud to be in partnership with GE on this initiative, which clearly resonates with everything that USADF stands for,” she added.

GE Africa President and CEO Jay Ireland said he was excited that the Off-Grid Energy Challenge was generating increased awareness about the plight of communities that are either underserved by the national grid or are not connected at all.

“We have no doubt that great solutions will emerge from this initiative, which will ultimately provide some insight to how to tackle some of the off-grid energy challenges in Africa,” he said.

– CAJ News


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