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Towards the launch of the "African Single Electricity Market (AfSEM)"

07/12/2020 - 09:05
News stories

The ambition of an African Single Electricity Market (AfSEM) is steadily moving forward

The Declaration of the African Union Specialised Technical Committee (STC-TTIIET) Ministerial Meeting, held on December 2, 2020 over video-conference, proposes to launch the AfSEM at the African Union (AU) Assembly of Heads of States and Governments in February 2021.  The official launch of the AfSEM is a major milestone in the work carried out in the scope of the partnership between the AU and the European Union (EU) for the Harmonisation of the African Electricity Market.

Two key activities led by the AU and carried out in the scope of the AU-EU Partnership were approved during the meeting:

  1. the policy paper and roadmap for the African Single Electricity Market (AfSEM) / operationalisation of a continental electricity market.
  2. the launch of the modelling for the Continental Power Systems Masterplan (CMP) - the blueprint of the AfSEM, interconnecting its underlying infrastructure.

The AfSEM aims at connecting the Continent’s energy strategies and action plans by harmonising regulatory frameworks and integrating generation, transmission, and distribution master plans. This will allow for the diversification of energy sources supporting energy transition, better trade and investments exchanges, and close the energy infrastructure gaps between regions and countries.

The goal is to build one of the largest electricity markets in the world, covering the African Union's 55 Member States, and a population of more than 1.3 billion.

The Declaration of the - African Union Specialised Technical Commmittee (STC-TTIIET) Sub-Committee on Energy, “welcomes the progress made towards the operationalisation of a continental electricity market and recommended the approval of the Policy Paper and Roadmap including the governance structure of the African Single Electricity Market (AfSEM) and launch of AfSEM at the next meeting of the AU Assembly”, and thanks the EU for its financial and technical support.

 Over 80 energy stakeholders of the African Continent came together in a virtual conference last week at the AfSEM Policy Paper and Roadmap validation event. This was the culmination of a lengthy process, coordinated by the African Union Commission and the European Union with its EU Technical Assistance Facility for Sustainable Energy.

The African Single Electricity Market (AfSEM) Policy Paper and Roadmap include focus on:

    • concrete benefits including cost efficiency, increased use of renewable energy technologies and improved security of electricity supply,
    • alignment with the Paris Climate Agreement, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),
    • harmonisation of the electricity markets, which should be achieved at all three levels national, regional and continental.

The African Single Electricity Market (AfSEM) Roadmap is now expected to be adopted by the 55 African Union Member States Heads of State, at the AU Assembly due to take place in February 2021.

With the support of the European Union, the African Union is coordinating the harmonisation of African electricity markets, with the strategic objectives to improve access to reliable and sustainable energy, to promote industrialisation, economic development, and job creation.

Since 2015, the dedicated Technical Assistance Facility for Sustainable Energy (EU TAF) has been supporting the AUC to forge a continental initiative toward harmonising the electricity markets in Africa. The EU is proud to share some of its unique integration experiences to accompany the African integration in the making.

– ENDS –

For more information, contact:

Delegation of the European Union to the AU – email: Stephan.FOX@eeas.europa.eu

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