DCA Newsletter Interview Andrew Gisselquist .pdf
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Power/Infrastructure Africa Investment Officer
Q. What do you do for USAID?
A. I joined DCA in March of this year as the Power
Q. How did you end up at USAID?
A. I had been working as a consultant in the U.S.
and Infrastructure Investment Officer on the Africa
Team. I help source and risk guarantees across SubSaharan Africa that are in support of the
development goals of USAID missions, focusing on
power and infrastructure opportunities.
electricity sector since 2007, and had some
exposure to various off-grid electricity efforts,
including working part-time with a social impact
start-up focused on energy in East Africa. When I
finally decided to jump into development with both
feet, I was fortunate enough that the DCA office
was looking for someone with a power background!
Q. What part of your job do you find most
A. The most exciting aspect of my job is the recent
surge in interest around electricity, both inside and
outside of USAID. President Obama’s Power Africa
initiative has provided a striking increase in U.S.
government support for different forms of
electricity across Africa. I think this increased focus
on electricity comes from an increasing recognition
of the role that energy – and a lack of energy – plays
in people’s lives across much of the world.
Increased interest around electricity is also linked to
exciting advancements in technology, including
price declines in solar photovoltaic equipment and
new business models for providing electricity that
rely on mobile phone networks.
Q. What is one of your favorite development
A. I have met so many inspiring entrepreneurs that
USAID supports it’s difficult to choose. I’ve met an
entrepreneur running agricultural processing
facilities in Ghana, or a globe-hopping solar
entrepreneur at an international energy
conference, and yet another who has poured her
life into starting a microfinance institution in South
Africa. Entrepreneurs face unique challenges in
different parts of Africa and the world, but the
resolve, excitement and pride is infectious
regardless of where they are.
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