DEVELOP A FRAMEWORK AND ROADMAP FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A REGIONAL ENERGY REGULATORY AUTHORITY FOR SADC REGION UNDER THE EU PROJECT ON ENHANCEMENT OF A SUSTAINABLE REGIONAL ENERGY MARKET IN EASTERN AFRICA, SOUTHERN AFRICA, AND INDIAN OCEAN (EA-SA-IO) REGION
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is a regional grouping of 19 African States which have agreed to promote regional integration through trade development and investment. In this regard, COMESA through the Regional Association of Energy Regulators of Eastern and Southern Africa (RAERESA) is currently spearheading implementation of the European Union-funded Project on Enhancement of a Sustainable Regional Energy Market in the Eastern Africa, Southern Africa and Indian Ocean (EA-SA-IO) Region.
The overall objective of the project is to enhance a sustainable regional energy market in the EA-SA-IO region, which is conducive to investment and promoting sustainable development. The project is relevant for the African Union’s Agenda 2030 and 2063. It contributes primarily to the progressive achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) target 7 of ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, and promotes progress towards Goal 5 of achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls and Goal 12 of ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns.
Most countries in the Eastern Africa-Southern Africa-Indian Ocean (EA-SA-IO) region have experienced energy challenges, although it is a region with high potential capacity of energy when compared to other sub-Saharan African regions. These challenges are manifested by inadequate level and coverage of physical energy infrastructure due to insufficient investment in the energy sector, inefficiency and unreliability of existing energy infrastructure services, increased demand for economic growth and population growth, high cost of operating existing energy infrastructure facilities, energy poverty in terms of lower access rate and reliance on traditional fuels (wood fuels), and the issue of low utilization of clean energy option which includes energy efficiency and renewable energy. These challenges have resulted in increased cost of doing business which has negatively impacted the competitiveness of the region in its internal and external markets.
It is envisaged that the planned expansion of the cross-border power transmission interconnectors and the sections underway could, in short, medium and longer term, increase the share of electricity traded between the regions and the nations. This is because power trade could be used to measure regional integration in the energy sector, which in turn, would enhance the regional integration agendas.
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