http://www.bdlive.co.za/africa/africanbusiness/2013/07/02/can-obamas-power-africa-plan-hold-a-candle-to-chinas-investmentCan Obama’s Power Africa plan hold a candle to China’s investment?
by Ed Stoddard, July 02 2013, 17:20
...Visiting Africa in March, Chinese President Xi Jinping renewed an offer of $20bn in loans to "help African countries turn resource endowment into development strength".
A major chunk of this Chinese money is aimed at connecting African economies with electricity, from Zambia to Ethiopia.
"The major thrust of the Chinese infrastructure spend in Africa has been in the power sector. It is tens of billions of dollars," said Frontier Advisory CE Martyn Davies.
The Asian giant has a huge appetite for African resources from copper to oil and they cannot be extracted without power.
China’s Sichuan Hongda signed a $3bn deal with Tanzania in 2011 to mine coal and iron ore and build a 600MW coal-fired power plant
in the country’s south.
The centrepiece of an array of Chinese power projects in Ethiopia is the $4.1bn Grand Renaissance Dam
The US initiative, called Power Africa, will see Washington commit more than $7bn over the next five years
with the stated goal to "double access to power in sub-Saharan Africa," according to the White House. This includes up to $5bn being made available by the US Export-Import Bank
More than $9bn in US private sector investments have also been committed to support development of more than 8,000 MW.
But not everyone was happy. Outspoken American real estate mogul Donald Trump called Mr Obama’s Power Africa plan "crazy".http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/general-electric-company-awarded-ex-im-bank-sub-saharan-africa-exporter-of-the-year-201467791.htmlGeneral Electric Company Awarded Ex-Im Bank
Sub-Saharan Africa Exporter of the Year
WASHINGTON, April 4, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- General Electric Company (GE) today received the Sub-Saharan Africa Exporter of the Year award from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank). The award was presented at the Bank's 38th Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.
"Ex-Im Bank is a valued partner and their financing enabled GE Power & Water to support this break-through project in Nigeria
," said Heiner Markhoff, president and CEO—water and process technologies for GE Power & Water.
"This transaction is a tremendous milestone in our pursuit of boosting Nigeria's economy by increasing clean water access for more than 160 million people
," said WATTCCON Managing Director and CEO Aliyu Maigari Mamman. "I would like to thank GE, Ex-Im Bank and Fidelity Bank for collaborating with WATTCCON on this world-class project."
Ex-Im Bank's loan guarantee provides $9.5 million in financing to the Water Treatment Technology and Chemical Company Limited (WATTCCON), a Nigeria-based company dedicated to providing clean water to more 300 million people in West Africa.
...Ex-Im Bank approved nearly $35.8 billion in total authorizations in FY 2012 – an all-time Ex-Im record
. This total includes more than $6.1 billion directly supporting small-business export sales – also an Ex-Im record. Ex-Im Bank's total authorizations are supporting an estimated $50 billion in U.S. export sales and approximately 255,000 American jobs
in communities across the country. For more information, visit http://www.exim.govhttp://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/070113-662065-obama-warns-africans-about-america-and-undercuts-even-his-own-power-africa-plan.htm?ref=HPLNews
Leadership: President Obama had some unsolicited advice for Africans on Sunday: Be wary of foreign powers — including the United States. So this is what our $100 million presidential junket is buying us?
These are odd questions, because Power Africa is a consortium whose biggest donor is the U.S. Export-Import Bank, which is contributing $5 billion. Ex-Im Bank, in response to criticism of its financing oil development in Brazil, has pointedly defended itself by stating its cash goes to U.S. workers and U.S. exports.
"The mandate of the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. is to help create and sustain U.S. jobs by financing U.S. exports," Ex-Im Bank stressed in a press release during its controversial funding of Brazilian energy in 2009. "This increases the likelihood that American — not foreign — workers will be employed."http://election.democraticunderground.com/10023148538Obama's 'Power Africa' Plan Greases Billions In Deals For General Electric
One of the big partners for the president’s plan is General Electric GE -0.81%. Among the private companies that the president said have “committed more than $9 billion in investment” to the Power Africa project, G.E. appears to be front and center
. According to the White House statement on Power Africa, “General Electric commits to help bring online 5,000 megawatts of new, affordable energy through provision of its technologies, expertise and capital in Tanzania and Ghana
Some of this investment is already in the works. In late June G.E. signed a tentative deal with the government of Ghana to build a 1,000 mw power plant.
This plant would likely be fueled with natural gas sourced from the Jubilee offshore field, a multi-billion-dollar project, in which Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum APC +0.74% has a large stake. G.E. is newly focused on Africa, and is actively marketing power generation products to African companies, and recently sold Jenbacher natural gas engines to Diageo DEO -0.52% to power its Nigerian breweries. General Electric will be perhaps the biggest beneficiary of that $7 billion in U.S. taxpayer funds that Obama says will underwrite Power Africa
. The lion’s share of the $7 billion appears to be directed by the U.S. Export-Import Bank, which will “make available $5 billion in support of U.S. exports for the development of power projects.” This doesn’t mean that Ex-Im is spending or investing those $5 billions, rather the job of the Ex-Im bank is to help finance trading opportunities that private sector lenders are not willing to take a risk on. As Ex-Im describes its mission: “We assume credit and country risks that the private sector is unable or unwilling to accept. We also help to level the playing field for U.S. exporters by matching the financing that other governments provide to their exporters.” http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2013/07/01/with-power-africa-plan-obama-to-grease-billions-in-deals-for-g-e/