Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 114-121 (02/08/2016)

(This measure has not been amended since it was passed by the Senate on December 18, 2015. The summary of that version is repeated here.)

Electrify Africa Act of 2015

(Sec. 3) This bill states that it is U.S. policy to partner with the governments of sub-Saharan African countries, international financial institutions, and African regional economic communities, cooperatives, and private sectors to:

  • promote first-time access to power services for at least 50 million people in sub-Saharan Africa by 2020;
  • encourage the installation of at least 20,000 additional megawatts of electrical power in sub-Saharan Africa by 2020;
  • promote reliable and affordable power in urban, rural, and under served areas;
  • encourage necessary reforms to support electricity access projects and market-based power generation and distribution;
  • promote policies to displace kerosene lighting with other technologies;
  • promote an energy development strategy for sub-Saharan Africa that includes the use of oil, natural gas, coal, hydroelectric, wind, solar, and geothermal power; and
  • promote the use of private financing and seek ways to remove barriers to private financing and assistance for projects, including through charitable organizations.

(Sec. 4) The President shall: (1) establish a multiyear strategy to assist countries in sub-Saharan Africa implement national power strategies and develop an appropriate mix of power solutions to provide access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable power in order to reduce poverty and drive economic growth and job creation; and (2) ensure that the strategy remains responsive to local community concerns and technological innovation.

The President may establish an interagency working group to coordinate the activities of U.S. government departments and agencies involved in carrying out the strategy.

(Sec. 5) The U.S. Agency for International Development, the Trade and Development Agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation are urged to: (1) prioritize efforts and assistance for power projects and markets in sub-Saharan Africa; and (2) partner with other investors and local institutions, including private sector actors, to increase access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable power.

(Sec. 6) The President should use U.S. influence at international bodies to advocate for:

  • increasing investment in power sector and electrification projects in sub-Saharan Africa,
  • addressing energy needs of individuals and communities where electricity grid access is impractical or cost-prohibitive,
  • enhancing private sector coordination, and
  • assisting sub-Saharan African governments to remove unnecessary regulatory barriers to investment.

(Sec. 7) Within three years the President shall transmit a strategy progress report to Congress which includes information regarding: (1) U.S. programs supporting policy and legislative changes leading to increased power generation and access in sub-Saharan Africa, and (2) power projects receiving U.S. government support.