Increasing Energy Access and Building Regional Energy Markets Across East Africa

Supporting energy-sector reforms as part of a pathway to economic development

Power Africa

East Africa is well known for a stunning natural landscape and spectacular tourist safaris that traverse a menagerie of exotic wildlife. It’s less well known for its industrial and commercial outputs. In fact, the burgeoning industrial and commercial sectors of many East African nations are hamstrung by a variety of impediments to economic growth, including the lack of affordable, reliable electricity service.

Historically, energy consumption and economic growth increase in lockstep, in what recent analyses show are a virtuous cycle: increased and intensified use of energy in production leads to economic growth, which in turn increases demand—and ability to pay—for more energy.

Over the next four years, RTI International will partner with Power Africa in East Africa to catalyze reforms in the entire energy sector of Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Rwanda. We will also be engaging in Uganda, Somaliland, Eritrea, Djibouti, Burundi, and eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo. In each of these countries, our work continues the impressive work begun under the ambitious Power Africa Transactions and Reform Program (PATRP). The East Africa Energy Program (EAEP) has four important objectives:

None of the first three objectives could realistically be achieved in isolation, as new grid customers strengthen utility balance sheets, which in turn requires more diversified generation sources to deliver the power customers demand. But by supporting regional integration, the progress made in one country can be effectively made available to all countries via interconnection.

By aiding in economic development in East Africa, this program will add employment opportunities that can be taken advantage of by women, building industry with female engagement. A larger demand for employees will lead students to continue educational avenues that will keep youth in school. Increased economic stability will also decrease negative aspects of poverty such as gender violence, poor health, and sanitation.

The East Africa Power Program is expected to run through December 2023. We are proud to support the U.S. government in this ambitious and game-changing initiative, and we are proud to be at the heart of reforms that will bring energy to millions of East Africans who in turn will put it to productive use.