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An Obama switch for African electricity


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inhofe-an-obama-switch-for-african-electricityWashington Times:

One of the greatest challenges facing developing nations, including those in Africa, is a lack of affordable, reliable electricity. We take it for granted here in the United States that whenever we flip a switch, the lights turn on, and stay on, until we flip the switch again. The same goes for our factories — when they open, they run until they are shut down for the evening. In many cases, they actually run continuously — around the clock.


These are hallmarks of America’s economic power that we rarely think twice about. Until, of course, something goes wrong. When a major city has even a bump in its power supply, it makes national news. This is the way it should be, but in many African countries, power-supply problems are regular, if not daily, occurrences. According to the World Bank, African manufacturing facilities experience electricity outages 56 days per year. In the United States, our reliability hovers at nearly 100 percent.


As leaders from Africa are gathered in Washington this week, I hope they have many opportunities to address with President Obama issues unique to each of their countries. One key issue for the betterment of Africa as a whole is the need to develop critical electricity resources and the simple changes to U.S. policies that can help bring it about more quickly.Scissors-32x32.png

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