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house Bill H.R. 2548

Government Backing of Private Sector Investment in Sub-Saharan Africa

Argument in favor

Would spur economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa and increase quality of life for millions of people.

Argument opposed

Places interests of U.S. corporations ahead of those of impoverished Africans.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Foreign Relations
  • The house Passed May 8th, 2014
    Roll Call Vote 297 Yea / 117 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Financial Services
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
    IntroducedJune 27th, 2013

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What is House Bill H.R. 2548?

Would provide government-backed credit to the private sector with the goal of delivering first-time access to electricity/power for 50 million people in sub-Saharan Africa. The bill would accomplish this by extending, through 2017, the authority of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to provide loans and insurance to help U.S. companies invest and expand in the region. It also would require the Administration to encourage the private sector, other nations, international organizations, and nonprofits to increase access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa.


If enacted, the bill would likely spur positive economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa while bringing net collections to the federal government through OPIC loans.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2548

The CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would save $86 million over the 2014-2019 period, with administrative costs offset and OPIC's loan programs generating net collections.

More Information


Of Note:

-According the above bill summary offered by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, nearly 70% of the population in sub-Saharan Africa (589 million people) does not have access to electricity. 

-Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), was among those who voted against the bill, stating:

American taxpayers spend more than $40 billion per year on foreign aid...given America's out-of-control deficits and accumulated debt that threaten our economic future, I cannot justify American taxpayers building power plants and transmission lines in Africa with money we do not have, will have to borrow to get, and cannot afford to pay back.


Electrify Africa Act of 2014

Official Title

To establish a comprehensive United States Government policy to encourage the efforts of countries in sub-Saharan Africa to develop an appropriate mix of power solutions, including renewable energy, for more broadly distributed electricity access in order to support poverty reduction, promote development outcomes, and drive economic growth, and for other purposes.