‘Africa should reinforce power sector regulations to attract investments’

afdb elecAfrica’s power sector policies and regulations need to be sharpened to attract investments, highlighted a technical roundtable for energy stakeholders in Abidjan

The roundtable was organized on the sidelines of the 3rd Africa Energy Market Place (AEMP), an energy sector platform for governments, private sector and development partners to review Africa’s power sector priorities.

“Effective regulation is a crucial enabler of an improved business environment,” Callixte Kambanda, manager for energy, policy, regulation and statistics at the African Development Bank (AfDB), said in opening remarks at a donors’ roundtable on Electricity Regulatory Index (ERI) for Africa.

In 2018, the AfDB launched the ERI for Africa, a comparative, country-by-country assessment of regulatory development on the power sector. The Index diagnosed the regulatory environment, identified gaps and recommended appropriate interventions to address them.

In collaboration with development partners, AfDB seeks to implement the recommendations of the 2018 Index through targeted support by providing technical assistance to some 15 countries covered in the assessment including Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

John Irons, partnerships director at Power Africa, noted that the ERI would engender best practices among regulators in Africa’s electricity sector through the sharing of experiences. He pledged Power Africa’s commitment to supporting the Index to become more sustainable.

KfW, the German Development Bank, is collaborating with AfDB on the implementation of the ERI recommendations in Cote d’Ivoire on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Collins Magalis, chief executive, Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority, reiterated the importance of the Index for the continent’s electricity sector and suggested that it should be expanded.

Initiated by the AfDB, the AEMP is a collaborative platform of major government representatives, development partners and private sector investors. It is set up to address barriers to mobilising and scaling-up private investment into the energy sector.

In addition, AEMP aims to promote high-level dialogue to fast-track reforms, transactions and initiatives through peer-to-peer learning and knowledge exchange, networking and partner engagement.

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