Power Africa: ending energy poverty in Africa

Paris, 7 December 2015

Foreign Minister Børge Brende's speech at the signing of an agreement with Power Africa at the COP21 in Paris, 7 December 2015.

Sub-Saharan Africa suffers from severe energy poverty.

600 million people – two thirds of the population – lack access to electricity.

Access to electricity is key to growth. It is key to creating jobs. It is key to fighting poverty.

African leaders have a vision that increased access to electricity will drive economic progress and poverty reduction on their continent.

Power Africa aims to support this vision by adding 30 0000 MW of new and cleaner electricity generation capacity and connecting 60 million new households.

It is ambitious. It is necessary. And Norway is ready to deliver.

Only by decoupling economic growth from CO2 emissions can we fight poverty at the same time as we combat climate change.

And only through partnerships with the private sector will we find the solutions and mobilise the investments that are needed.

Partnerships are the essence of Power Africa. It is driven by private sector investments. It is supported by host country governments. And it is facilitated by multilateral and bilateral donors.

Through Norfund, Norway is committed to bringing 1 500 MW online over a five-year period, contributing to Power Africa’s overall 30 000 MW electricity generation goal.

We look forward to being part of Power Africa. To working together with African nations, with the US and with all the other partners to fight energy poverty in Africa.

Thank you.