European Union External Action

Towards a Harmonised African Electricity Market

03/10/2019 - 11:38
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In the scope of the sustainable energy joint collaboration between the European Union (EU) and the African Union (AU), the representatives of the African Union Commission Department of Infrastructure and Energy (AUC), high-level African officials from Continental and Regional organisations, the European Union (EU), and the EU Technical Assistance for Sustainable Energy (EU Energy TAF) met in Addis Ababa on 2-4 October 2019, to work on building blocks for setting up a Harmonised African Electricity Market .

A Technical Meeting was held on 2-4 October 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to discuss the following specific activities of this collaboration- which will take place along the 2019-2020 period:

  • Monitoring & coordination framework for the harmonisation of the African Electricity Market, with the development of a digital information platform;
  • Monitoring of the implementation of the Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) and Energy Labelling;
  • Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) enforcement and market surveillance;
  • Energy Efficiency Quality Assurance frameworks for off-grid appliances;
  • Monitoring the Implementation of Continental Transmission Tariff Methodology;
  • Capacity Building and Training on Transmission Tariffs Calculation Tool;
  • Reduction of Technical Losses of Transmission and Distribution Lines and Smart Networks Management.

These activities are direct contributions to the implementation of the Strategy and Action Plan for the ‘’Development of a Harmonised Regulatory Framework for the Electricity Market in Africa’’, which was endorsed by the African Heads of State and Government in July 2017, and which aims to achieve a fully integrated, competitive and Harmonised Electricity Market in order to accelerate Africa's development and improve access for all African citizens.

The meeting followed the participatory approach taken in the three previous phases (since end of 2015) of this cooperation, with the strong commitment of the following stakeholders: the AUC,  AUDA-NEPAD, UNECA, Africa-EU Energy Partnership, AU specialised institutions (AFREC, AFSEC, AFUR) Regional Economic Communities,  Power Pools, Regional Regulatory Authorities and Associations, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Centres, development partners (U4E, Global Leap, Club ER), EU Energy TAF and EU. The representatives discussed and proposed an implementation plan together with the final content of the activities, phases, deliverables, commitments of Regional and Continental institutions and next steps to have all involved stakeholders working united.

During the meeting Mr. Cheikh Bedda, the AU Director of Infrastructure & Energy, quoted: ‘’We are here thanks to the committed African & EU stakeholders and their strong technical capacity, working against the clock as to achieve the population needs regarding access to reliable & sustainable electricity’’ and Mr. Thomas Huyghebaert, the Head of Cooperation of the EUD to the AU, emphasised: “We are two Unions with similar challenges. It seems clear to us that experience and knowledge sharing can really be beneficial on both sides”.