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Capacity-building for inter-regional electricity access and supply in Africa  

Background:

The development of Africa’s electric power sector is a prerequisite for the overall sustainable development of the continent. Access to electricity is critical for poverty alleviation and the improvement of livelihoods, including in the areas of education, health, and industrial development. However, a combination of factors, such as small market size, insufficient investments, and damage due to war and conflict, have contributed to very low rates of access to electricity, as well as irregularities and shortages in electricity supply across many parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

This project aims to strengthen the capacity of regional economic communities (RECs) and their member States to establish the appropriate policy, institutional and regulatory frameworks for regional electricity grid interconnection, in order to increase access to electricity and security of supply. The project will achieve this objective by establishing capacity-building activities for RECs through the development of model technical guidelines, regulatory provisions, and training modules.

Objective:

To strengthen the capacity of regional economic communities and their member States in East and Central Africa to put in place policy, institutional and regulatory frameworks for regional electricity grid interconnection, with the aim of increasing access to electricity and security of supply.

Expected Accomplishments:

  • Enhanced skills and capacities among decision-makers and managers in relevant institutions in Central and East Africa to assess and implement options for regional electricity grid interconnections.

  • Improved technical and policy capacity of regional economic communities to coordinate and support regional electricity grid interconnections within their area of responsibility.

Implementation Status:

Impacts of the project include:  (i) Strengthened power pools in the Eastern Africa region (the EAPP) and in the Central Africa region (the CAPP) through enhanced capacity of experts from member countries of the EAPP and CAPP to enable them to support their countries in the implementation of grid interconnections for power to be brought from countries that have excess capacity to countries that are not able to produce enough to provide for their population; (ii) Raised awareness of participating power pools and their member countries with respect to the value and benefits of south-south cooperation; (iii) Encouraged interest from other regional players, such as the USAID, that coordinate their activities geared towards strengthening the power pools with DSD activities under the project to avoid duplication and use limited resources optimally; (iv) Fostered close cooperation among DESA, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the regional economic communities (RECs); and (iv) Nurtured networks of experts that participated in the Workshops and study tour as support system left by project activities that could be tapped into by experts that participated in the Workshops and Study Tour to resolve some of the practical problems that they will be confronted with in their fields.