The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) is accepting proposals for sustainable energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa in support of the implementation of President Obama’s Power Africa initiative. Power Africa’s goals include expanding clean energy on the continent to increase power generation capacity and create new electricity connections for millions of people who lack reliable access to power. USDTA established its U.S. Africa Clean Energy Finance initiative to support Power Africa, and provides funding and project planning support to American firms undertaking clean energy projects. American firms can compete for projects by responding to the requests for proposals posted by the U.S. government on fbo.gov, or submit proposals to USTDA itself if selected directly by overseas project sponsors. USTDA’s proposal period will remain open through February 19, 2016.

Power Africa is the White House’s signature program focused on supporting power generation in sub-Saharan Africa. Access to electricity remains inconsistent in even some of the largest cities on the continent. And yet the problem presents the opportunity that African countries could “leap frog” traditional, dirty power generation methods (such as oil and coal) when developing the much-needed new capacity in favor of clean renewable energy sources. The increased productivity of individuals and businesses along with the potential savings in per-person energy costs resulting from increased renewable power could contribute to many African countries’ already strong economic growth rates.