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U.S. moves to cash in on African economic promise

U.S. moves to cash in on African economic promise

When Kevin Smith and his partners started a solar energy firm in Santa Monica in 2008, they expected to sell their technology to advanced economies in Europe and the United States.

But much of the action has been in a part of the world Smith initially wrote off: Africa.

Not only are some of SolarReserve's biggest projects in South Africa, but by year's end the continent is also likely to generate the bulk of the company's sales. "We're now spending a whole lot more time" in Africa, he said, mentioning Ghana, Nigeria and Mozambique, among others.

Sub-Saharan Africa still struggles with political unrest, poverty and disease, including the current Ebola outbreak...