AFRICA: HETA Alliance launched to electrify 10,000 health centres

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AFRICA: Heta alliance launched to electrify 10,000 health centres © Flightseeing-Germany/Shutterstock

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is launching the Health Electrification and Telecommunications Alliance (HETA). The initiative aims to electrify 10,000 health care facilities in Africa.

The Health Electrification and Telecommunications Alliance (HETA) was launched on the sidelines of the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit, which just concluded in Washington. This initiative of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) aims to provide access to electricity to at least 10,000 health centres in Africa.

Heta will be implemented as part of the Power Africa initiative launched under the administration of former US President Barack Obama to support the electrification of the African continent. The HETA alliance is a five-year cooperative agreement that will use USAID resources to mobilise $150 million in private sector funding “to install reliable, renewable power and provide mobile network and Internet access to at least 10,000 health facilities in sub-Saharan Africa,” says USAID.

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“Millions of people seeking care and treatment are at risk because they cannot rely on refrigeration for medical products such as vaccines, lights for childbirth or emergency surgery at night, or digital connectivity for the communications and records management that modern medicine depends on,” the US agency said.

These clinics and grid sites will be electrified via solar photovoltaic systems with battery storage and other electricity access solutions. Surplus electricity generated by these facilities will be sold to surrounding communities to support the maintenance of the systems and ensure “financial sustainability to establish the initiative as a formal programme outside of USAID”.

To ensure the initiative runs smoothly, the US company Abt is acting as the lead integrator for HETA with Resolve, as well as the private sector alliance’s founding partners, Bechtel, Orange, and 25 other companies, organisations and foundations in the health, energy and telecommunications sectors.

Jean Marie Takouleu

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