The joint initiative of the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) for the Harmonisation of the African Electricity Market held its 3rd Steering Committee Meeting on 15 October 2020, bringing together representatives from the African Union Commission (AUC), the AU Development Agency- New Partnership for Africa's Development (AUDA-NEPAD), the African Development Bank (AfDB), Power Pools, the EU – the Directorate General for International Development Cooperation (DEVCO C6), the Directorate General for Energy (DG ENER), the EU Delegation to the African Union, and the EU Technical Assistance Facility for Sustainable Energy (EU TAF)- in a virtual conference.
The Steering Committee, co-chaired by the AUC and DEVCO, discussed the important progress made to date in building Africa’s Single Electricity Market (AfSEM) -which will be the largest in the world, consisting of the African Union's 55 Member States, its regional organisations and institutions, covering a population of more than 1.3 billion.
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 which will allow for the diversification of energy sources supporting energy transition, better trade and investments exchanges, and closing the energy infrastructure gaps between regions and countries.
Highlights of the meeting include presentations on the progress and status of activities for Harmonisation of AfSEM Regulatory Framework including discussions on the proposed governance structure for the African Single Electricity Market (AfSEM), as well as progress on the continental-wide, interconnected electricity infrastructure planning– in the form of a Continental Master Plan (CMP).
All participants commended the EU TAF for the excellent work carried out to date, closely involving all relevant stakeholders in a remarkably participatory approach, and keeping to tight timelines despite conditions - in particular, the Covid-19 crisis that still affects us all.
“At AUC, DIE we listen to and carry all the relevant institutions along, and we will always maintain this gesture in all the activities to ensure success in this assignment and all other initiatives.” said Mr. Cheikh BEDDA, Director of the Infrastructure and Energy Department, AUC
“The AfSEM and the CMP are key for the development of the energy sector in Africa and a major contribution to continental integration, very much complementary to the intense collaboration on other key flagships such as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA).” said Mr. Thomas Huyghebaert, Head of Cooperation EUD to AU.
Since 2015, the AUC has been collaborating with the EU through its dedicated Technical Assistance Facility for Sustainable Energy (EU TAF), to forge a continental initiative toward harmonising the electricity markets in Africa. The EU is also proud to share some of its unique integration experiences to accompany the African integration in the making.
A fully integrated, competitive and harmonised electricity market for Africa will accelerate Africa’s development and improve energy access for African citizens.
* For more information, contact:
Biruk Feleke, Press and Information Officer at the EU Delegation to the AU - E:Biruk.FELEKE@eeas.europa.eu