Tanzania included in United States Power Africa initiative

Programme to aid construction of Kirwira River Hydro Project in southern Tanzania

Tanzania has been selected to be part of Washington's billion-dollar Power Africa Initiative whose objective is to add more than 10,000 MW of clean energy to the continent's power grid.

Washington has so far committed more than $7 billion in financial support and loan guarantees for the first five-year phase until 2018.

Other countries benefitting from the initiative are Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and Kenya. Based at the US embassy in Nairobi, the programme will focus on renewable energy such as solar, wind, geothermal, gas and biomass, and will work alongside donor agencies including the African Development Bank and the World Bank.

The initiative will help construct the Kiwira River Hydro Project, located in the Mbeya region of south-west Tanzania. On completion, the plant is expected to produce 10 MW.

Washington's Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has already provided funding over $300 million for the Orpower 4 geothermal energy plant at Olkaria in Kenya's Rift Valley.

Another upcoming project expected to receive funding from the initiative is the $150 million Kinangop Wind Project, north of Nairobi. The project is set to be developed jointly by American conglomerate General Electric and local firm Aeolus Kenya. Due for construction in early 2015 the plant will have 38 wind turbines which will add an estimated 60MW to the national grid once completed.