When President Barack Obama made his first presidential visit to Kenya over the weekend, he visited not just his ancestral home, but one of the target countries in his $7 billion signature foreign aid initiative, Power Africa.
Launched in 2013, Power Africa aims to boost electricity access in Sub-Saharan Africa. The initiative has prioritized expanding the continent’s capacity to generate electricity, with an additional focus on small-scale renewable energy investments. This is a useful first step. But investing in generation alone will be useless without addressing the economic and institutional obstacles to distributing electricity to homes and businesses.