Africa generates only four percent of the global energy and more than 600 million Africans have no access to electricity, experts have said. The experts made the announcement during a two-day dialogue that discussed the changes needed in policy and regulatory frameworks to ensure adequate openness, attractiveness, and readiness of African energy markets to private investments in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
Despite vast opportunities in the development of the electricity sector in Africa, there is low private sector investment in energy infrastructure and service delivery, Yohannes Hailu, an energy policy expert at UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
“Advancing electricity market regulatory improvement and reform is a significant part of the solution towards de-risking investment in Africa’s energy infrastructure,” Hailu said, emphasizing that Africa generates only four percent of the global energy.
He said that credible regulatory framework and policy remained key instruments for member countries striving to crowd-in private capital in their electricity markets via generation, transmission, distribution, and off-grid system development.
Andrea Renzulli, head of policy and regulation at RES4Africa, commended the partnership with the ECA in raising awareness and sharing knowledge on the electricity reform agenda across African markets.
600 million people in the continent do not have access to electricity, said Renzulli, acknowledging the importance of continued exchanges of knowledge between energy regulatory authorities across the continent and the private sector to boost investment in the energy sector across the continent.
The High-Level Public-Private Dialogue on Private Sector Investment in Electricity and Infrastructure Development in Africa was hosted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the RES4Africa Foundation identified areas of regulatory technical cooperation including green hydrogen, storage of batteries, standardization of contracts, development of grid codes and risk-mapping.