The availability of electricity is a hot topic these days. The Power Africa Initiative is a U.S. Government program under which we are working with governments and businesses across the continent to add more than 30,000 megawatts of cleaner, more efficient electricity generation capacity as well as adding 60 million new home and business connections in sub-Saharan Africa. Under the Power Africa Initiative, the United States Department of Commerce partnered with the African Legal Support Fund to develop a handbook, “Understanding Power Purchase Agreements,” to serve as an easily accessible resource for best practices in the negotiation of power purchase agreements. At an event last week launching the handbook at the offices of Cliffe Dekker Hoffmyer in Johannesburg, U.S. Consul General Christopher Rowan said, “Power purchase agreements are complex arrangements that help secure the stable revenue that is needed for long-term financing in the power sector. More importantly, they guide the partnership between local and foreign investors and domestic utilities.
This handbook is a wonderful example of how to establish a greater understanding of the key elements of balanced power purchase agreements.” The United States Government is committed to working hard alongside our South African partners, both in the government and the private sector, to build a stronger foundation for investment and productivity in the power sector so that the future is, literally, brighter.