Hospital Africa

Power Africa, SEforALL to accelerate health facility electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa

Press release

USD 1 million grant funded by USAID will enable data-driven investment to support healthcare in wake of COVID-19 pandemic 

Wednesday, 31 March 2021: Power Africa and Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) have today announced a new two-year USD 1 million grant funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) that will support African governments and the donor community to coordinate and assist national health facility electrification efforts. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has focused attention on the inequalities and vulnerabilities of health systems globally. The lack of reliable power in health facilities undermines the quality of healthcare for millions of people, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. One in four clinics in Sub-Saharan Africa has no electricity.  Across the region, nearly 60 percent of all healthcare facilities do not have access to reliable electricity. Worldwide, more than 289,000 women die every year from pregnancy- and childbirth-related complications, a tragedy that could be mitigated with electricity-dependent medical services. 

Heightened awareness of these issues from the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with recent advances in off-grid energy solutions, present a timely opportunity to improve access to quality healthcare and make health facilities more resilient. 

Off-grid renewable energy solutions can provide clean, reliable and cost-effective electricity to health centres in countries with significant electricity access gaps. Deploying these solutions in Sub-Saharan Africa requires overcoming significant barriers, including lack of long-term financing and sustainable business models, poor stakeholder and donor coordination, and limited enabling policies that support sustainable service delivery.

Through this new programme, Power Africa and SEforALL will equip target governments and their development partners with the necessary building blocks to identify, power, and sustainably maintain health facilities by 2030. 

Working in close coordination with the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNDP, the Global Vaccine Alliance (Gavi), the Rockefeller Foundation, and USAID, the programme will provide African decision-makers with the knowledge and tools required to drive faster and more efficient progress toward universal electrification of health facilities in Africa. 

SEforALL will also provide thought leadership to identify and develop sustainable business models, policies and quality assurances needed to leverage public and private sector investment in health facilities, as well as develop new data and research to build a powerful evidence base that will support effective strategies and policies to power health facilities. Read more about the programme here.

“This grant supports stronger and more resilient health systems in Sub-Saharan Africa by accelerating the development and deployment of clean energy and sustainable investment in health facilities,” said Power Africa’s Coordinator, Mark Carrato. “Our collaboration with SEforALL complements Power Africa’s many other initiatives at the intersection of healthcare and electricity provision, including the recent grants to nine distributed renewable energy companies to power health facilities. These companies and others like them will benefit from the coordination SEforALL will facilitate while providing valuable information on health facilities’ needs and the viability of different health facility electrification business models,” Carrato added.

Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy, said “In many areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, healthcare centres are operating without sufficient, reliable electricity, putting patients’ lives in danger. Ensuring everyone has access to quality health services powered by sustainable energy is a matter of equality. SEforALL and Power Africa are taking bold steps that will enable investment in health facility electrification in areas where local populations are most at risk.”

A new article released today explores the programme in more detail and can be read here.




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About Power Africa 

Power Africa is a U.S. Government-led partnership that harnesses the collective resources of over 170 public and private sector partners to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. Since 2013, Power Africa-supported projects have added more than 11,000 megawatts (MW) of cleaner and more reliable electricity and more than 18 million new power connections for homes and businesses. Power Africa’s goal is to add at least 30,000 MW and 60 million connections by 2030. 

Follow our progress at

About Sustainable Energy for All 

Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) is an international organization that works in partnership with the United Nations and leaders in government, the private sector, financial institutions, civil society and philanthropies to drive faster action towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) – access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030 – in line with the Paris Agreement on climate. SEforALL works to ensure a clean energy transition that leaves no one behind and brings new opportunities for everyone to fulfill their potential.

SEforALL is led by Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy. Follow her on Twitter @DamilolaSDG7. For more information, follow @SEforALLorg

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