Comoros to have a National Energy Regulation Board

Comoros is set to establish an autonomous energy regulator with support from the project on Enhancement of a Sustainable Regional Energy Market (ESREM) in the Eastern Africa, Southern Africa, and Indian Ocean (EA-SA-IO) Region.  Currently, the island country has no active energy regulator.

The ESREM is a seven million euros European Union funded project whose implementation was led by COMESA in partnership with the regional economic communities including the East Africa Community, Intergovernmental Authority on Development, Indian Ocean Commission and the Southern Africa Development Community.

Among the deliverables of the project, whose tenure ended last month, was to support Member States in enhancing regulatory capacity and strengthening capacity of the regional associations and power pools so that they can proactively influence developments in the energy sector.

Pursuant to this objective, Comoros hosted a National Workshop on Regulation 23 – 24 May 2022 , aimed at facilitating dialogue between regulation experts from the region and Energy Sector leadership in Moroni, as part of the drive to establish an autonomous energy regulator.

The meeting drew participation from various organizations relevant to the development of the Comoros national energy sector. Among them were representatives from the Ministry of Energy, Water and Hydrocarbons, National Power Utility, National Water Utility, representatives from the Private Sector and International Cooperation Partners.

The objective was to enable the target audience to appreciate the importance of establishing energy regulatory and institutional frameworks in supporting national governments’ long-term objectives of providing affordable and reliable energy supply and services to its citizens.

The workshop was officially opened by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Energy, Water and Hydrocarbons, Madam Njda Said Abdallah. The Minister expressed gratitude to COMESA and the European Union, for the successful implementation of the ESREM project.

“Comoros considers electrical energy as an essential element of the productivity of industrial activities and tourism development as part of economic growth plans, and therefore, electricity will play a key role in driving the economic transformation by allowing the various economic actors to have access to a quality resource at an affordable cost,” she added.

Chief Executive Officer of the Regional Association of Energy Regulators for Eastern and Southern Africa (RAERESA) of COMESA Dr. Mohamedain Seif Elnasr cited key challenges facing the sector in the region. They include under-developed regulatory frameworks, absence of autonomous regulatory environment in some Member States and harmonized regulatory framework to support an integrated electricity market at regional level in the EA-SA-IO. This had increased the regulatory risk, complicated implementation modalities and inhibited investment decisions on electricity infrastructure projects.

The ESREM project which came to an end on 30 May 2022 provided technical support to align Member States’ national legislations with the adopted harmonized regional regulatory framework through development of 12 regional guidelines to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives and provisions of trainings to 363 officials from the region.

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