White lights surround the walls of Tilton Hall last Tuesday, October 29 as ONE Campus Challenge hosted its first campus awareness event. It focused on the Electrify Africa Act; part of a U.S. initiative to grow the energy sector in Africa. U.S. Congressman Ed Royce, a representative from California and Congressman Eliot Engle from New York presented this act on June 2013. The legislation aims to bring electricity to 50 million people in different African countries. In the most updated statistics, 26 of the 54 African states are committed to attaining global universal energy access by 2030 in an effort to overcome disparities between Africa and much of the rest of the world. Currently, seven out of ten Sub-Saharan Africans do not have access to electricity in their household.
Lack of electricity is a multifaceted problem that can have impacts on the health in the household in much Africa. For example, members of ONE Campus Challenge shared that 70% of child and maternal mortality in Africa can be reduced if its’ citizens gain access to lighting and electric medical devices. With the passing of the Electrify Africa Act, a partnership with the United States, African nations hope to cultivate a safer and healthier future for its citizens.
The evening event concluded with performances by many talented Clark students, most of who sang duets, played guitars and piano. The audience comprised of about 50 people gathered for an important cause.