By Julian Pecquet - 02/27/14 06:16 PM EST
The House Foreign Affairs panel unanimously on Thursday approved legislation requiring the Obama administration to come up with a plan to encourage African countries to provide electricity to its almost 600 million people — 68 percent of the population — who are going without.
“The Electrify Africa Act mandates a clear and comprehensive U.S. policy, so that the private sector can proceed with the certainty it needs to generate electricity in Africa — at no cost to the U.S. taxpayer,” Royce, the chairman of the committee, said in a statement after the vote.
“We need to be engaged. Where the United States has left a void for economic investment in Africa, China has stepped in to direct nearly $2 billion towards energy projects on the continent. If the United States wishes to tap into this potential consumer base, we must act now.”
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