The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced during this week's U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit a new Global Development Alliance, one of the largest in USAID history, called the Health Electrification and Telecommunication Alliance (HETA). RESOLVE is a key founding member of this alliance. The five-year cooperative agreement will invest USAID resources to leverage more than $150 million of additional private sector resources to install reliable, renewable power and provide mobile network and Internet access for at least 10,000 health facilities across sub-Saharan Africa.

With more than 100,000 public health facilities in sub-Saharan Africa lacking access to reliable electricity and nearly all lacking Internet access, millions of people that use these facilities are at risk because they cannot access life-saving care. For example, power is required for refrigerating medical commodities like vaccines and providing lights for births or emergency surgeries at night, and digital connectivity is needed for communications and records management relied on by modern medicine.

HETA is being developed by USAID, Abt, RESOLVE, Orange, (Bechtel's social enterprise), and 25 other companies, organizations, and foundations in the healthcare, energy, and telecommunications sectors. With support from USAID's global health program, African government partners, and alliance members, HETA will outfit health facilities to provide renewable energy and digital connectivity to improve healthcare service delivery. The systems will include solar, battery, and other innovative energy technology to provide reliable energy to the mobile networks and health facilities.

The HETA model will generate surplus energy, which can be purchased by nearby businesses and homes. Providing access to electricity will accelerate improvements in delivery of primary health care services, create hubs for local economic development, and create new communities of connection.

HETA will support U.S. commitments made at the United Nations General Assembly and last year's United Nations 26th Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26). The alliance is featured in fact sheets released by the White House this week about the U.S-Africa Partnership in Supporting Conservation, Climate Adaptation and a Just Energy Transition and the U.S-Africa Partnership in Health Cooperation.

The long-term vision for HETA is to expand beyond 10,000 facilities and to establish an independent organization outside of USAID. RESOLVE and other alliance partners are already looking to build the funding base and governance structures to create this independent organization.

We're excited about being a core member of this alliance and about all we can accomplish together in the years ahead!

Beth Weaver