While most U.S. aid stakeholders have fought tooth and nail to defend their budgets against cuts, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency has emerged as one of the darlings of the Obama administration's "new model of development," which seeks to use official funding to leverage private, philanthropic, and host-country resources.
In an exclusive interview in our video studio, USTDA Director Leocadia Zak described her agency's role as a catalyst for off-grid and renewable energy development within Obama's Power Africa initiative, criticized by some environmentalists and pro-poor advocates for focusing too much on centralized, conventional power deals, and too little on expanding energy access to rural areas.
In part because of its role in connecting U.S. businesses and technology with Power Africa's infrastructure and development opportunities, USTDA has seen its role — and funding — increase within the U.S. development landscape in recent years, including a more than 20 percent increase in the president's budget request for fiscal 2015.
Stay tuned for more excerpts from our conversation with Zak, including the full version of the interview later this week.
Devex reporter Michael Igoe interviews USTDA Director Leocadia Zak.
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