Text: H.R.2548 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Information (Except Text)

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Referred in Senate (05/12/2014)

[Congressional Bills 113th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 2548 Referred in Senate (RFS)]

  2d Session
                                H. R. 2548



                              May 12, 2014

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


                                 AN ACT

    To establish a comprehensive United States Government policy to 
encourage the efforts of countries in sub-Saharan Africa to develop an 
  appropriate mix of power solutions, including renewable energy, for 
more broadly distributed electricity access in order to support poverty 
reduction, promote development outcomes, and drive economic growth, and 
                          for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Electrify Africa Act of 2014''.


    The purpose of this Act is to encourage the efforts of countries in 
sub-Saharan Africa to improve access to affordable and reliable 
electricity in Africa in order to unlock the potential for economic 
growth, job creation, food security, improved health, education and 
environmental outcomes, and poverty reduction.


    Congress finds that--
            (1) 589,000,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa, or 68 percent 
        of the population, did not have access to electricity, as of 
            (2) in sub-Saharan Africa, electricity services are highly 
        unreliable and they are at least twice as expensive for those 
        with electricity access compared to other emerging markets;
            (3) lack of access to electricity services 
        disproportionally affects women and girls, who often shoulder 
        the burden of seeking sources of heat and light such as dung, 
        wood or charcoal and are often more exposed to the associated 
        negative health impacts. Women and girls also face an increased 
        risk of assault from walking long distances to gather fuel 
            (4) access to electricity creates opportunities, including 
        entrepreneurship, for people to work their way out of poverty;
            (5) a lack of electricity contributes to the high use of 
        inefficient and often highly polluting fuel sources for indoor 
        cooking, heating, and lighting that produce toxic fumes 
        resulting in more than 3,000,000 annual premature deaths from 
        respiratory disease, more annual deaths than from HIV/AIDS and 
        malaria in sub-Saharan Africa;
            (6) electricity access is crucial for the cold storage of 
        vaccines and anti-retroviral and other lifesaving medical 
        drugs, as well as the operation of modern lifesaving medical 
            (7) electricity access can be used to improve food security 
        by enabling post-harvest processing, pumping, irrigation, dry 
        grain storage, milling, refrigeration, and other uses;
            (8) reliable electricity access can provide improved 
        lighting options and information and communication 
        technologies, including Internet access and mobile phone 
        charging, that can greatly improve health, social, and 
        education outcomes, as well as economic and commercial 
            (9) sub-Saharan Africa's consumer base of nearly one 
        billion people is rapidly growing and will create increasing 
        demand for United States goods, services, and technologies, but 
        the current electricity deficit in sub-Saharan Africa limits 
        this demand by restricting economic growth on the continent;
            (10) approximately 30 African countries face endemic power 
        shortages, and nearly 70 percent of surveyed African businesses 
        cite unreliable power as a major constraint to growth;
            (11) the Millennium Challenge Corporation's work in the 
        energy sector shows high projected economic rates of return 
        that translate to sustainable economic growth and that the 
        highest returns are projected when infrastructure improvements 
        are coupled with significant legislative, regulatory, 
        institutional, and policy reforms;
            (12) in many countries, weak governance capacity, 
        regulatory bottlenecks, legal constraints, and lack of 
        transparency and accountability can stifle the ability of 
        private investment to assist in the generation and distribution 
        of electricity; and
            (13) without new policies and more effective investments in 
        electricity sector capacity to increase and expand electricity 
        access in sub-Saharan Africa, over 70 percent of the rural 
        population, and 48 percent of the total population, will 
        potentially remain without access to electricity by 2030.


    Congress declares that it is the policy of the United States--
            (1) in consultation with sub-Saharan African governments, 
        to encourage the private sector, international community, 
        African Regional Economic Communities, philanthropies, civil 
        society, and other governments to promote--
                    (A) the installation of at least an additional 
                20,000 megawatts of electrical power in sub-Saharan 
                Africa by 2020 to support poverty reduction, promote 
                development outcomes, and drive economic growth;
                    (B) first-time direct access to electricity for at 
                least 50,000,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa by 2020 
                in both urban and rural areas;
                    (C) efficient institutional platforms with 
                accountable governance to provide electrical service to 
                rural and underserved areas; and
                    (D) the necessary in-country legislative, 
                regulatory and policy reforms to make such expansion of 
                electricity access possible; and
            (2) to encourage private sector and international support 
        for construction of hydroelectric dams in sub-Saharan Africa 
                    (A) offer low-cost clean energy consistent with--
                            (i) the national security interests of the 
                        United States; and
                            (ii) best international practices regarding 
                        social and environmental safeguards, 
                                    (I) engagement of local communities 
                                regarding the design, implementation, 
                                monitoring, and evaluation of such 
                                    (II) the consideration of energy 
                                alternatives, including distributed 
                                renewable energy; and
                                    (III) the development of 
                                appropriate mitigation measures; and
                    (B) support partner country efforts.


    (a) Strategy.--The President shall establish a comprehensive, 
integrated, multiyear policy, partnership, and funding strategy to 
encourage countries in sub-Saharan Africa to develop an appropriate mix 
of power solutions, including renewable energy, to provide sufficient 
electricity access to people living in rural and urban areas in order 
to alleviate poverty and drive economic growth. Such strategy shall 
maintain sufficient flexibility and remain responsive to technological 
innovation in the power sector.
    (b) Report.--
            (1) In general.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
        the enactment of this Act, the President shall transmit to the 
        appropriate congressional committees a report setting forth the 
        strategy described in subsection (a).
            (2) Report contents.--The report required by paragraph (1) 
        shall include a discussion of the elements described in 
        paragraph (3), and should include a discussion of any 
        additional elements relevant to the strategy described in 
        subsection (a).
            (3) Report elements.--The elements referred to in paragraph 
        (2) are the following:
                    (A) The general and specific objectives of the 
                strategy described in subsection (a), the criteria for 
                determining success of the strategy, a description of 
                the manner in which the strategy will support partner 
                country efforts to increase production and improve 
                access to electricity, and criteria and indicators used 
                to select partner countries for focused engagement on 
                the power sector.
                    (B) Development, by partner country governments, of 
                plans and regulations at the national, regional, and 
                local level to increase power production, strengthen 
                existing electrical transmission and distribution 
                infrastructure, bolster accountable governance and 
                oversight, and improve access to electricity.
                    (C) Administration plans to support partner country 
                efforts to increase new access to electricity, 
                including a description of how the strategy will 
                address commercial and residential needs, as well as 
                urban and rural access.
                    (D) Administration strategy to support partner 
                country efforts to reduce government waste, fraud, and 
                corruption, and improve existing power generation 
                through improvement of existing transmission and 
                distribution systems, as well as the use of a broad 
                power mix, including renewable energy, and the use of a 
                distributed generation model.
                    (E) Administration policy to support partner 
                country efforts to attract private sector investment 
                and public sector resources.
                    (F) A description of the Administration's strategy 
                for the transfer of relevant technology, skills, and 
                information to increase local participation in the 
                long-term maintenance and management of the power 
                sector to ensure investments are sustainable and 
                transparent, including details of the programs to be 
                undertaken to maximize United States contributions in 
                the areas of technical assistance and training.
                    (G) An identification of the relevant executive 
                branch agencies that will be involved in carrying out 
                the strategy, the level and distribution of resources 
                that will be dedicated on an annual basis among such 
                agencies, timely and comprehensive publication of aid 
                information and available transmission of resource data 
                consistent with Administration commitments to implement 
                the transparency measures specified in the 
                International Aid Transparency Initiative by December 
                2015, the assignment of priorities to such agencies, a 
                description of the role of each such agency, and the 
                types of programs that each such agency will undertake.
                    (H) A description of the mechanisms that will be 
                utilized by the Administration, including the 
                International Aid Transparency Initiative, to 
                coordinate the efforts of the relevant executive branch 
                agencies in carrying out the strategy to avoid 
                duplication of efforts, enhance coordination, and 
                ensure that each agency undertakes programs primarily 
                in those areas where each such agency has the greatest 
                expertise, technical capabilities, and potential for 
                    (I) A description of the mechanisms that will be 
                established by the Administration for monitoring and 
                evaluating the strategy and its implementation, 
                including procedures for learning and sharing best 
                practices among relevant executive branch agencies, as 
                well as among participating countries, and for 
                terminating unsuccessful programs.
                    (J) A description of the Administration's 
                engagement plan, consistent with international best 
                practices, to ensure local and affected communities are 
                informed, consulted, and benefit from projects 
                encouraged by the United States, as well as the 
                environmental and social impacts of the projects.
                    (K) A description of the mechanisms that will be 
                utilized to ensure greater coordination between the 
                United States and foreign governments, international 
                organizations, African regional economic communities, 
                international fora, the private sector, and civil 
                society organizations.
                    (L) A description of how United States leadership 
                will be used to enhance the overall international 
                response to prioritizing electricity access for sub-
                Saharan Africa and to strengthen coordination among 
                relevant international forums such as the Post-2015 
                Development Agenda and the G8 and G20, as well as the 
                status of efforts to support reforms that are being 
                undertaken by partner country governments.
                    (M) An outline of how the Administration intends to 
                partner with foreign governments, the international 
                community, and other public sector entities, civil 
                society groups, and the private sector to assist sub-
                Saharan African countries to conduct comprehensive 
                project feasibility studies and facilitate project 
                    (N) A description of how the Administration intends 
                to help facilitate transnational and regional power and 
                electrification projects where appropriate.


    (a) Loan Guarantees.--It is the sense of Congress that in pursuing 
the policy goals described in section 4, the Administrator of USAID 
should identify and prioritize--
            (1) loan guarantees to local sub-Saharan African financial 
        institutions that would facilitate the involvement of such 
        financial institutions in power projects in sub-Saharan Africa; 
            (2) partnerships and grants for research, development, and 
        deployment of technology that would increase access to 
        electricity in sub-Saharan Africa.
    (b) Grants.--It is the sense of Congress that the Administrator of 
USAID should consider providing grants to--
            (1) support the development and implementation of national, 
        regional, and local energy and electricity policy plans;
            (2) expand distribution of electricity access to the 
        poorest; and
            (3) build a country's capacity to plan, monitor and 
        regulate the energy and electricity sector.
    (c) USAID Defined.--In this section, the term ``USAID'' means the 
United States Agency for International Development.


    In pursuing the policy goals described in section 4, the President 
should direct the United States' representatives to appropriate 
international bodies to use the influence of the United States, 
consistent with the broad development goals of the United States, to 
advocate that each such body--
            (1) commit to significantly increase efforts to promote 
        investment in well-designed power sector and electrification 
        projects in sub-Saharan Africa that increase energy access, in 
        partnership with the private sector and consistent with the 
        host countries' absorptive capacity;
            (2) address energy needs of individuals and communities 
        where access to an electricity grid is impractical or cost-
            (3) enhance coordination with the private sector in sub-
        Saharan Africa to increase access to electricity;
            (4) provide technical assistance to the regulatory 
        authorities of sub-Saharan African governments to remove 
        unnecessary barriers to investment in otherwise commercially 
        viable projects; and
            (5) utilize clear, accountable, and metric-based targets to 
        measure the effectiveness of such projects.


    (a) In General.--The Overseas Private Investment Corporation 
            (1) in carrying out its programs and pursuing the policy 
        goals described in section 4, place a priority on supporting 
        investment in the electricity sector of sub-Saharan Africa, 
        including renewable energy, and implement procedures for 
        expedited review of and, where appropriate, approval of, 
        applications by eligible investors for loans, loan guarantees, 
        and insurance for such investments;
            (2) support investments in projects and partner country 
        strategies to the extent permitted by its authorities, 
        policies, and programs, that will--
                    (A) maximize the number of people with new access 
                to electricity to support economic development;
                    (B) improve the generation, transmission, and 
                distribution of electricity;
                    (C) provide reliable and low-cost electricity, 
                including renewable energy and on-grid, off-grid, and 
                multi-grid solutions, to people living in rural and 
                urban communities;
                    (D) consider energy needs of individuals where 
                access to an electricity grid is impractical or cost-
                    (E) reduce transmission and distribution losses and 
                improve end-use efficiency; and
                    (F) reduce energy-related impediments to business 
                and investment opportunity and success;
            (3) encourage locally-owned, micro, small- and medium-sized 
        enterprises and cooperative service providers to participate in 
        investment activities in sub-Saharan Africa; and
            (4) publish in an accessible digital format measurable 
        development impacts of its investments, including appropriate 
        quantifiable metrics to measure energy access at the individual 
        household, enterprise, and community level; and
            (5) publish in an accessible digital format the amount, 
        type, location, duration, and measurable results, with links to 
        relevant reports and displays on an interactive map, where 
        appropriate, of all OPIC investments and financings.
    (b) Amendments.--Title IV of chapter 2 of part I of the Foreign 
Assistance Act of 1961 is amended--
            (1) in section 233 (22 U.S.C. 2193)--
                    (A) in subsection (b), by inserting after the sixth 
                sentence the following new sentence: ``Of the eight 
                such Directors, not more than five should be of the 
                same political party.''; and
                    (B) by adding at the end the following new 
    ``(e) Investment Advisory Council.--The Board shall take prompt 
measures to increase the loan, guarantee, and insurance programs, and 
financial commitments, of the Corporation in sub-Saharan Africa, 
including through the use of an investment advisory council to assist 
the Board in developing and implementing policies, programs, and 
financial instruments with respect to sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, 
the investment advisory council shall make recommendations to the Board 
on how the Corporation can facilitate greater support by the United 
States for trade and investment with and in sub-Saharan Africa. The 
investment advisory council shall terminate on December 31, 2017.'';
            (2) in section 234(c) (22 U.S.C. 2194(c)), by inserting 
        ``eligible investors or'' after ``involve'';
            (3) in section 235(a)(2) (22 U.S.C. 2195), by striking 
        ``2007'' and inserting ``2017'';
            (4) in section 237(d) (22 U.S.C. 2197(d))--
                    (A) in paragraph (2), by inserting ``, systems 
                infrastructure costs,'' after ``outside the 
                Corporation''; and
                    (B) in paragraph (3), by inserting ``, systems 
                infrastructure costs,'' after ``project-specific 
                transaction costs''; and
            (5) by amending section 239(e) (22 U.S.C. 2199(e)) to read 
        as follows:
    ``(e) Inspector General.--The Board shall appoint and maintain an 
Inspector General in the Corporation, in accordance with the Inspector 
General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.).''.
    (c) Annual Consumer Satisfaction Survey and Report.--
            (1) Survey.--
                    (A) In general.--For each of calendar years 2014 
                through 2016, the Overseas Private Investment 
                Corporation shall conduct a survey of private entities 
                that sponsor or are involved in projects that are 
                insured, reinsured, guaranteed, or financed by the 
                Corporation regarding the level of satisfaction of such 
                entities with the operations and procedures of the 
                Corporation with respect to such projects.
                    (B) Priority.--The survey shall be primarily 
                focused on United States small businesses and 
                businesses that sponsor or are involved in projects 
                with a cost of less than $20,000,000 (as adjusted for 
            (2) Report.--
                    (A) In general.--Not later than each of July 1, 
                2015, July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017, the Corporation 
                should submit to the congressional committees specified 
                in subparagraph (C) a report on the results of the 
                survey required under paragraph (1).
                    (B) Matters to be included.--The report should 
                include the Corporation's plans to revise its 
                operations and procedures based on concerns raised in 
                the results of the survey, if appropriate.
                    (C) Form.--The report shall be submitted in 
                unclassified form and shall not disclose any 
                confidential business information.
                    (D) Congressional committees specified.--The 
                congressional committees specified in this subparagraph 
                            (i) the Committee on Appropriations and the 
                        Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of 
                        Representatives; and
                            (ii) the Committee on Appropriations and 
                        the Committee on Foreign Relations of the 


    (a) In General.--The Director of the Trade and Development Agency 
            (1) promote United States private sector participation in 
        energy sector development projects in sub-Saharan Africa 
        through project preparation activities, including feasibility 
        studies at the project, sector, and national level, technical 
        assistance, pilot projects, reverse trade missions, conferences 
        and workshops; and
            (2) seek opportunities to fund project preparation 
        activities that involve increased access to electricity, 
        including power generation and trade capacity building.
    (b) Focus.--In pursuing the policy goals described in section 4, 
project preparation activities described in subsection (a) should focus 
on power generation, including renewable energy, improving the 
efficiency of transmission and distribution grids, including on-grid, 
off-grid and mini-grid solutions, and promoting energy efficiency and 
demand-side management.


    Not later than three years after the date of the enactment of this 
Act, the President shall transmit to the Committee on Foreign Affairs 
of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations 
of the Senate, and post through appropriate digital means, a report on 
progress made toward achieving the policy goals described in section 4, 
including the following:
            (1) The number, type, and status of policy, regulatory, and 
        legislative changes implemented in partner countries to support 
        increased electricity generation and access, and strengthen 
        effective, accountable governance of the electricity sector 
        since United States engagement.
            (2) A list of power sector and electrification projects 
        United States Government instruments are supporting to achieve 
        the policy goals described in section 4, and for each such 
                    (A) a description of how each such project fits 
                into the national power plans of the partner country;
                    (B) the total cost of each such project and 
                predicted United States Government contributions, and 
                actual grants and other financing provided to such 
                projects, broken down by United States Government 
                funding source, including from the Overseas Private 
                Investment Corporation, the United States Agency for 
                International Development, the Department of the 
                Treasury, and other appropriate United States 
                Government departments and agencies;
                    (C) the predicted electrical power capacity of each 
                project upon completion, with metrics appropriate to 
                the scale of electricity access being supplied, as well 
                as total megawatts installed;
                    (D) compliance with international best practices 
                and expected environmental and social impacts from each 
                    (E) the estimated number of women, men, poor 
                communities, businesses, schools, and health facilities 
                that have gained electricity connections as a result of 
                each project at the time of such report; and
                    (F) the current operating electrical power capacity 
                in wattage of each project.

            Passed the House of Representatives May 8, 2014.


                                                 KAREN L. HAAS,


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