S. 2152, Electrify Africa Act of 2015

S. 2152

Electrify Africa Act of 2015

Sponsor
Sen. Bob Corker

Date
January 1, 1970 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Molly Newell

Floor Situation

On Monday, February 1, 2016, the House will consider S. 2152, the Electrify Africa Act of 2015, under suspension of the rules. S. 2152 was introduced on October 7, 2015 by Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), and passed the Senate on December 18, 2015, as amended, by unanimous consent.

Bill Summary

S. 2152 establishes a comprehensive U.S. policy to improve access to affordable and reliable electricity in sub-Saharan Africa for at least 50 million people by 2020 in an attempt to stimulate economic growth, create new markets, and improve other important development outcomes in the region. Specifically, the bill requires the President to develop a multi-year strategy to encourage countries in sub-Saharan Africa to develop an appropriate mix of electricity sources, including fossil fuels, and to leverage international support for these activities. Additionally, the bill encourages U.S. and international development organizations to prioritize loans, assistance, and technical support for private investment in projects that increase electricity access and reliability, in addition to emphasizing the importance of regulatory reform, commercial viability, and the role of the private sector in promoting energy access. The bill requires the President to submit a report on the progress made in achieving the bill’s goals to the appropriate House and Senate Committees, within three years of enactment.

Background

Sub-Saharan Africa is the most electricity-poor region in the world with over 600 million people – or 70% of the population – lacking access to electricity. This lack of reliable electricity severely restricts development in the region by limiting economic productivity, the quality of social services and public safety, and the quality of life.[1]  According to the bill sponsor, “creating a favorable environment for private investment to bring reliable, affordable electricity to millions of people in Africa for the first time can be a real game changer in development throughout the region. By establishing an-all-of-the-above approach for expanding power generation in Africa through private capital, we can help reduce poverty and fuel economic growth.”[2]

In the 113th Congress, the House passed a similar bill, H.R. 2548, the Electrify Africa Act of 2014 by a vote of 297 to117 on May 8, 2014. The bill was not taken under consideration by the Senate.

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[1] See CRS Report, “Powering Africa: Challenges of and U.S. Aid for Electrification in Africa,” September 14, 2015.
[2] See Chairman Bob Corker’s Press Release, “Electrify Africa Bill Passes Senate Foreign Relations Committee,” October 8, 2015

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that implementing new requirements would cost less than $500,000 each year and total roughly $1 million over the 2016-2020 period; such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds. Enacting S. 2152 would not increase net direct spending or revenues, and pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Molly Newell with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 2-1374.