The African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) and the African Development Bank released recommendations from a basic study looking at the development of a continental energy network and market.
The study, supported by the European Union, is the first step in an ambitious project to create an efficient, competitive energy sector that will help serve the large, non-aligned population of Africa, which is key to the continent’s economic prospects. is. The recommendations were discussed at a roundtable meeting between the partners organized by the African Development Bank on Wednesday 28 October.
African Energy Ministers instructed AUDA-NEPAD to promote a master plan for continental transmission during the AU Specialized Technical Committee Meeting on Infrastructure (Transport, Energy and Tourism) held in Nouakchott and Cairo in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
“This will be a game changer, as a long-term continental transmission network will allow energy trade within Africa as well as outside the continent with Europe and Asia through existing links,” said Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, CEO of the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD. .
The baseline study is the first of two phases of the master plan. The next phase involves the development of the plan itself.
The European Union (EU) has agreed to support Phase 1 under its EU Technical Assistance Facility (EU TAF) for sustainable energy, under the auspices of the partnership between the African Union and the European Union to establish the one-off African regulatory framework for the electricity market to harmonize.
The basic objectives for the study included: an overview of the existing master plans developed by each of the five regional power pools in Africa, and to identify power generation capacity and power demand up to 2063 and to develop the Phase 2 mandate.
“Our continent has a vision to develop a single electricity network that will guarantee safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity supply to improve the economic prospects of the continent, especially for our children. This can only be realized with a well-coordinated accepted and highly articulated master plan, ”said Cheikh Bedda, director of energy, at the African Union Commission.
The recommendations of the basic study include: setting up a permanent unit for the development of the master plan in order to effect a skills transfer within AUDA-NEPAD and the five regional power pools, and align the plan with existing infrastructure projects, such as these identified under the program. for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), a joint initiative of the African Union Commission, AUDA-NEPAD and the African Development Bank.
The next steps are to develop the assignment for phase two and discuss how the master plan will be funded.
“The continental master plan will provide a holistic roadmap to connect countries within a single local power pool and connect the power pools into one electricity market, promoting energy access and regional integration,” said Kevin Kariuki, vice president for power. Energy, climate and green growth at the African Development Bank Group.
More than 640 million Africans have no access to energy, which corresponds to an electricity access rate of just over 40 percent for African countries, the lowest in the world. The per capita consumption of energy in sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) is 180 kWh, compared to 13,000 kWh per capita in the United States and 6,500 kWh in Europe.
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