Another step taken towards unifying Africa’s electricity systems

THE African Single Electricity Market is expected to be launched in February 2021 during the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government. The market’s first phase is projected to be achieved by 2023 and full operation is anticipated by 2040. This market would make the case for power trading between African countries much easier.

The decision was announced at the second ordinary session of the sub-committee on energy of the African Union Specialised Technical Committee on Transport, Transcontinental and Interregional Infrastructure, Energy and Tourism. African Energy Ministers gathered on the second day of the sub-committee meeting to discuss the implementation status of the action plan adopted by the specialised technical committee in April 2019 in Cairo, Egypt.

Dr Mohamed Shaker El Markabi, Egyptian Minister of Electricity & Renewable Energy and current chairman of the specialised technical committee: ‘Africa is the world’s largest treasure trove of clean energy resources and has an important strategic position in global clean development.

‘The huge amounts of energy resources in the continent present opportunities to easily develop the African energy system at the local, national and regional levels, using a combination of both small and large-scale energy technologies in order to achieve energy security,’ said El Markabi.

He stressed the need to create a conducive environment for all stakeholders to effectively participate in the energy development agenda.

Roadmap to the African Single Electricity Market validated

Dr Amani Abou-Zeid, African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy noted that COVID-19 has posed serious challenges to the sector and implementation of various plans around the continent. The Commission has however marshalled efforts with partners to ensure the sector remains robust and contributes to a post-Covid-19 recovery.

‘Significant mobilisation and coordination strides are required to effectively engage stakeholders in addressing the key barriers to energy sector development on the continent, including policy, regulatory, technical, financing and market barriers,’ said Abou-Zeid.

The African Union Commission (AUC), African Energy Commission, Pan African Institutions and partners also presented an update on the implementation of the specialised technical committee’s action plan since the last sub-committee meeting.

The establishment and operationalisation of the African Single Electricity Market was discussed as the policy paper and roadmap validated by the AUC in partnership with the European Union, member states and stakeholders were presented.

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