ECA and RES4Africa Foundation Kick Off Executive Seminar and Technical Training on Policy and Regulatory Reforms for Energy Access in Dakar

Dakar, 12th October 2023 – A technical training organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the RES4Africa Foundation on “Promoting the openness, attractiveness and readiness of electricity markets in Africa through policy and regulatory reforms to crowd-in private sector investment”. The program commenced today at the African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP) in Dakar, Senegal with the participation of experts from national electricity regulatory institutions and Ministries of energy from eight member States, namely Algeria, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia and Senegal.

This is the second edition of the training programme which was previously delivered from 29 to 30 March 2023 at ECA headquarters in Addis Ababa. Jointly organised by the Private Sector Development and Finance Division (ECA) and the RES4Africa Foundation, the first edition took place on the margins of the High-Level Public-Private Dialogue on Private Sector Investment in Electricity and Infrastructure Development in Africa, which fall in the portfolio of capacity building programmes delivered by IDEP.

One-fourth of the world population by 2050 will be African, along with 950 million new people living in African cities. Furthermore, 7 of the 10 fastest urbanizing countries by 2050 will be in Africa. One of the underlying critical conditions to meeting this prospect is putting in place infrastructure that supports growth and prosperity. African countries should also address the critical challenge of millions of the continent’s populations lacking access to electricity coupled with key challenges in our electricity sector requiring major investment.

Speaking at the opening session, Karima Bounemra, Director of IDEP underscored that “Africa is facing today multiple challenges, in a complex global and regional environment. The United Nations has prioritized urgent actions in the areas of energy and food security, as well as macroeconomic stability as critical challenges of our time, along with the long-term risks of climate change.” As a result, she urged facing these challenges by mobilizing the required investments and the building the necessary capacity to guarantee our sustainable development, economic and social transformation and long-term prosperity.

“These investments must also help us close existing gaps and position us to successfully transition to a sustainable development path. To pursue these goals, we need conductive policy and regulatory environments encouraging investment”, she added.

Furthermore, Yohannes Hailu, energy policy expert with the Private Sector Development and Finance Division at ECA highlighted that “broadening the scope for private sector investment participation in Africa’s electricity markets through policy and regulatory improvements is essential for sustainable financing in the sector.” He indicated that ECA cooperation with member States in this regard is on-going through development and delivery of conducive regulatory instruments, capacity development efforts and technical support towards closing the investment gap in the sector.

“Now more than ever, energy pathways need to be shaped together, and the private sector needs to be a significant driving force behind the roll-out of RE projects in Africa. However, to date, the contribution of the private sector in African energy infrastructure development has been marginal.” said Roberto Vigotti, Secretary General of RES4Africa, “RES4Africa is pleased to be working together with  ECA and its African partners, the private sector, and civil society on furthering the energy transition and is eager to continue supporting the creation of opportunities for dialogue to design the most effective ways of tackling persistent challenges and taking advantage of the wealth of opportunities on the continent.”

During the technical training on regulation and private sector investment in the energy sector, the Regulatory Review of Openness, Attractiveness, and Readiness (R.O.A.R.) tool for the analysis of national regulatory preparedness and reform scenarios, jointly developed by the ECA and RES4Africa, was launched for use by experts in national policy and regulatory institutions in Africa and by the community of energy experts at large.

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Africa is a continent in continuous transformation, with a sustained economic and population growth, a fast-paced urbanization and a young generation of talents who is leading its business revolution. This transformation requires energy and will require it even more in the next decades.
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