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With financial backing from the US government, solar developer Gigawatt Global Cooperatief signed a deal with the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), to build $1bn worth of renewable energy projects in the region. The US is supporting the project through its Power Africa initiative set up in 2013 under President Barack Obama’s administration; a programme that had pledged to invest $7bn over five years. The advancement of this deal is an indication that the US Agency for International Development has retained its ability to act even though US President Donald Trump has slashed aid budgets and criticised US involvement in poverty alleviation. The deal will help build the West Africa Power Pool, which is a unit of Ecowas. It was set up to implement this agreement and create a regional electricity system. The deal builds on an agreement inked by the US and Israel last year where the two governments pledged to work together to reduce energy poverty in Africa. "E...

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