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Obama launches $7bn electric power project in Africa
July 1, 2013, 8:38 am

[Getty Images]

The president urged young South Africans to fulfil Mandela’s vision of equality and opportunity [Getty Images]

Visiting US President Barack Obama has announced an initiative to double access to electric power across Africa.

Speaking at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, President Obama said a $7 billion investment by the US will focus on increasing access to electricity in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania.

An additional $9 billion in investment will come from private companies like General Electric (GE) and Symbion Power.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) say $300 billion would be needed in investment to achieve universal electricity acces in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030.

The president said the US will continue to invest in health programmes on the continent.

To strengthen democracy and economic development the US leader said African countries need to come together to end conflicts and wars on the continent.

During his visit to South Africa, Obama took a trip to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was jailed for 18 years.

In his keynote speech the president urged young South Africans to fulfil Mandela’s vision of equality and opportunity.

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the campus during the US leader’s speech shouting anti-American slogans.

South African police fired rubber bullets and a stun grenade into a crowd of protestors prior to Obama’s speech at the University of Johannesburg on Saturday as well.

The president will leave South Africa on Monday and head for Tanzania for the last leg of his tour of Africa.

Source: Agencies