Signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Power Africa and the Nile Basin Initiative - Remarks by USAID Kenya and East Africa Deputy Mission Director Dr. Tina Dooley-Jones

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Good morning. Thank you for the opportunity to join you here today for this important milestone.

First, I would like to congratulate you, Innocent Ntabana, on your new appointment as Executive Director of the Nile Basin Initiative. We look forward to continue working with you as you take up this new post.

I also want to congratulate you on the first Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program (NELSAP) investment conference that took place here in Nairobi, Kenya, in June of this year. During this conference, US $1.9 billion of priority water and power projects were presented to prospective investors for funding consideration.

I’m happy to note that the pipeline of investment projects include transformative in-country projects with regional significance and transboundary cooperative investment projects related to the common use of the Nile Basin water resources, including power generation and transmission interconnection, integrated fisheries, and water resources management and development.

We applaud the advances made by the Nile Basin Initiative in setting a solid foundation for the management of the River Nile and delivering investments for water and power development for the 10 member countries of the Initiative.

We know that regional cooperation and integration is essential to economic growth and prosperity, and access to reliable and cost effective power is a vital for the development of the region. To address this need, United States President Barack set out an ambitious goal through the Power Africa initiative to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030 through a diverse coalition of public and private sector partners who are committed to investing in Africa’s future.

USAID has long been a partner of NELSAP, and so I am pleased today to sign this Memorandum of Understanding, on behalf of the United States Government and in support of the Power Africa initiative, which represents a new strategic partnership with NBI and NELSAP.

Under this MOU, Power Africa is deploying a transaction advisor (Jaap Du Preez) to NELSAP to work hand in hand with your energy team on implementing priority regional energy generation and transmission projects to facilitate regional power trade.

In addition, we are committed to continuing to work together to enhance the capacity of the NELSAP, its Nile Basin Initiative and those of its members to fulfill the mandate of the Nile Council of Ministers.

Now is the time to accelerate our cooperation to keep East Africa’s economy moving forward, NELSAP plays an important catalytic role in promoting sound regional infrastructure development and regional integration, and I am certain that this partnership will further advance our common commitment to electrifying the Nile Basin region.

Thank you.

Nairobi, Kenya
Issuing Country