Electrifying Power Africa: Balancing National Principles and International Pressures

In 2013, President Barack Obama announced Power Africa, the U.S.’s initiative to bring energy infrastructure to Sub-Saharan Africa. In the years following, the initiative enjoyed bipartisan support and congress passed enabling legislation in 2016. Despite early momentum for Power Africa, the initiative has yet to achieve its potential. This case follows the challenges and limitations of Power Africa in the face of growing and evolving Chinese pressures on the African continent. At a time when China is investing more than ever in Africa’s infrastructure, the U.S. is floundering to get a foothold and move projects forward. Instead of focusing on one decision-maker, this case looks at the organizations that make-up Power Africa and the political dynamics at play during its early years. Is it possible to electrify Power Africa?