A recently introduced bill in Congress — The Electrify Africa Act — seeks to do just that. Reps. Ed Royce, R-Calif., and Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., set a power generation goal twice as large as the administration's. They also demonstrate the bipartisan appeal of market-oriented development policy. There is every reason for Republicans to support efforts that encourage economic independence, strengthen trading partners and compete with Chinese influence in a vital region.
Encouraging energy production also appeals to the way that Africans increasingly view themselves — not as the objects of compassion but as the generators of wealth. In 1961, Kenya had about the same GDP as South Korea. After a long detour, many African nations now hope to take the economic path of East Asia or Brazil. That journey can only be undertaken in the light.
Michael Gerson's email address is email@example.com.
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