Arusha. Eastern and southern African countries are harmonising their energy regulatory frameworks in order to attract investments.
The exercise involves enhancing the capacity of the national regulatory authorities and power pools, a move broadly aimed to develop the energy sector.
The European Union, through the European Development Fund (EDF), is supporting the initiative through the four-year 7 million euros grant signed in May last year.
“The project seeks to address market governance and regulatory-related challenges affecting the implementation of energy development projects,” the East African Community (EAC) said in a statement over the weekend. The regionally harmonised energy regulatory and policy framework will, among others, integrate gender perspectives.
“Another area is enhancement of renewable energy and energy efficiency to attract investments in clean energy,” the statement added.
The Regional Association of Energy Regulators for Eastern and Southern Africa (Raefresa) will coordinate the implementation of the programme. A meeting of technical experts from the five regional economic communities (RECs) in Africa held in Nairobi last week agreed to fast-track its implementation.
Besides the EAC, others are the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa,Intergovernmental Auhority on Develoment (Igad) and the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC)
The programme is also set to catalyze the private sector role in energy development in the region so as to realize the desired socio-economic growth.
Comesa’s assistant secretary general (Programmes) Kipyego Cheluget said the energy sector in the five RECs will benefit and in so doing enhance the regional energy market. EU official and acting head of infrastructure projects in Kenya Mr Jean-Noel Gangloff, said that building an energy market would stimulate power trading in the region. “The EU recognises and believes that we can together enhance the regional energy market in a harmonized way and thus taking the development of the regional energy market a step further”, he said.
The project can also be a driver for an energy market and industrial growth within the five blocs and could contribute to lowering production costs, hence enhancing competitiveness.