Harmonizing the Regulatory Framework for Electricity Market Integration in Africa

A roadmap for harmonization of the regulatory framework for an integrated pan-African electricity market is being elaborated through a joint initiative of the African Union Commission (AUC) and the European Union (EU). A fully integrated, competitive and harmonized electricity market will accelerate Africa's development and improve energy access for African citizens.

 A key aspect of the process towards “The Development of a Harmonized Regulatory Framework for Energy in Africa” involved a final Stakeholder Dialogue workshop held in Cairo, Egypt, over three days, from 27 to 29 September 2016, and hosted by the Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE). 

The workshop brought together high-level officials from the African continent, including the regional economic communities, regional regulatory authorities and regulatory associations, as well as regional power pools and member states

The workshop was aimed at building on the findings of previous consultations held earlier this year, during which a Strategy was elaborated and validated. The Cairo meeting was proposed to validate the Action Plan, defining the specific reforms required at national, regional and continental levels in order to achieve harmonization, with the ultimate goal of creating a continental harmonized electricity market in Africa. 

It will be based on the following five pillars of the harmonization process:  Economic Regulatory Framework; Technical Regulatory Framework; Enabling Environment; Enhancing Renewable Energy Frameworks; Norms Standards and Frameworks for Energy Efficiency.

Topics discussed included the current gaps and barriers for each of the harmonization pillars, and details of the short, medium and long-term Action Plans at the national, regional and continental levels. Other topics discussed included the mode of implementation, cost analysis of implementation, the governance structure and coordination for implementation of the Action Plan.

The AUC representative stated that “a harmonized policy and regulatory frameworks in the African energy sector at the national, regional and continental levels will provide a platform to address barriers to cross-border energy trade as well as ensure the creation and expansion of energy markets”.

This action is promoted by the EU Technical Assistance Facility for the ‘Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL), Eastern and Southern Africa’ initiative.