ADDIS ABABA – The African Union (AU) has embarked on harmonizing regulations for the electricity market in Africa, a senior AU official has said.
AU's Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy Elham Ibrahim said on Friday that the continental body has developed a strategy and action plans that will be undertaken at the national, regional and continental level in ensuring the development of the regional electricity markets. "The African Union Commission (AUC) intend to have the framework become effective in the next three years once it is approved by the African Energy Ministers later in march 2017," she noted at a press conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She said that the framework will help create a robust economic regulation, create enabling renewable energy framework, and establish standards for energy efficiency. "The development of the energy, transport and ICT sectors is the biggest priority in the infrastructure sector development in the continent since it will help facilitate trade, economic cooperation and regional integration amongst member states," Ibrahim said.
Ibrahim announced that Africa Single Air Transport Project will be launched in June this year to help create markets and competition amongst the airlines in the continent.She said that so far 17 countries have agreed to open their skies towards the realization of the project. The commissioner observed that planned high speed railway project in Africa is fast becoming a reality. "We are thankful for the Chinese government for helping us realize our planned high speed railways system that is one of our agenda 2063 flagship project," she said. She said that the AU has also supported the first regional roaming internet exchange in Kenya that is expected to deploy the use of one mobile phone sim card for five countries.
According to the AU agenda 2063, the continental body is planning to concentrate on leveraging financial and technical support for member states to improving energy access as well as ensuring energy security through the development of renewal and conventional energy systems. It's targeting at facilitating regional and continental clean power generation and transmission projects and develops guidelines and policies to accelerate energy transitions.