Africans discuss energy regulatory environment to attract investment

United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), RES4Africa & Senegal discuss improving energy regulatory environment to attract investment & private sector participation.

Experts from the energy and regulatory institutions of the Government of Senegal, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the RES4Africa Foundation on Wednesday held a virtual meeting to discuss the energy policy and regulation required to attract the participation of the private sector across the country’s electricity value chain. The meeting is part of a continental effort to address regulatory barriers to private sector participation in the energy sector. Similar validation meetings have been held with experts in Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritania, Morocco, Rwanda, South Africa, and Zambia.

The electricity sector regulatory review currently underway across Africa is part of the ECA Executive Secretary Vera Songwe’s initiative under the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 Finance Initiative, which seeks to strengthen the sector’s governance to crowd-in investment in the energy sector.

Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Energy, Oumy Khairy Diop stated that “the ECA and RES4Africa regulatory review towards private sector participation in Senegal’s electricity value chain is in harmony with the national strategic sector plan.” She added “universal access to energy and meeting SDG7 requires private sector participation, and addressing regulatory constraints is key towards this ambition.”

ECA SRO-WA Director, Ngone Diop, thanked the Senegalese Petroleum and Energy Minister, Ms. Sophie GLADIMA, for the cooperation and partnership with the ECA. She highlighted that “the economic transformation of Senegal requires developing the energy sector, which is best supported by addressing regulatory barriers to maximizing investment from the private sector.” She added the “ECA will remain engaged with Senegal towards supporting improvement of the electricity regulatory environment.”

Yohannes Hailu, Economic Affairs Officer at the ECA, underlined that “bridging current regulatory gaps, such as putting in place a grid code with clear rules for access to the national grid by investors, can further support development of the energy sector in Senegal by crowding-in scaled private sector investment.”

He added “The regulatory review in Senegal is, therefore, aimed at identifying the strength and current gaps in regulating the electricity market and communicating relevant findings with authorities towards gap filling partnership.”

Andrea Renzulli, an energy expert at RES4Africa Foundation, remarked that “RES4Africa Missing Link initiative aims to identify key barriers to private sector participation in Africa’s energy sector. This would help establish effective partnerships with countries towards working together to address regulatory challenges to private sector investment in the electricity market of Africa.”