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ECA and partners conclude training on electricity market design in Nairobi

7 June, 2024
ECA and partners conclude training on electricity market design in Nairobi

Nairobi, Kenya, 7th June 2024 – The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), RES4Africa Foundation, and Gestore dei Servizi Energetici (GSE) have successfully concluded a High-Level Policy and Regulatory Training on Electricity Market Design.

Held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 5 to 7 June 2024, the training represents a significant step towards advancing Africa’s electricity reform agenda and increasing private sector participation in clean energy infrastructure.

The initiative, titled "Advancing Africa’s Electricity Reform Agenda: Towards Increased Private Sector Participation in Clean Energy Infrastructure," builds on a successful regulatory work conducted by ECA and RES4Africa since 2019. Over the past four years, the project has assessed the electricity policy and regulatory frameworks in 16 African countries, providing evidence-based recommendations to enhance regulatory openness, attractiveness, and readiness for private sector investments.

Robert Lisinge, Acting Director of Technology, Innovation, Connectivity, and Infrastructure at the ECA, highlighted the importance of de-risking investments, stating “De-risking investment, especially in an environment where the continent attracts a fraction of global energy investments, calls for a serious look at the policy and regulatory system.”

Mr Lisinge noted that addressing pressing regulatory constraints and, in some cases, regulatory absence, provides clarity to investors. He pointed out that “ECA’s energy regulation and investment program aims to bridge this barrier by supporting member states in their efforts to advance regulation and de-risk their markets.”

Similarly, Yohannes Hailu, Energy Policy Expert at the ECA, emphasized that enabling greater private sector investment and participation in Africa’s electricity markets through policy and regulatory enhancements is crucial for sustainable financing. Mr Hailu said Kenya's effort to address bulk electricity supply and open access regulation “ensures not only broader openness of the electricity market to private investment, but it will also serve as a regulatory best practice to inspire similar initiatives across the continent."

At the heart of this training was the broader initiative to provide technical support to Kenya in adopting and implementing Bulk Power and Open Access Regulation. This regulation has profound implications for opening Kenya's electricity market to further private investment.

Kenya’s advancing regulatory framework and emerging public-private partnership models in transmission investment position it among the front-runners in Africa's energy sector reform.

“At RES4Africa, we believe that the future of Africa’s energy lies in the hands of a well-informed and empowered community of policymakers, regulators, and industry leaders," stated Roberto Vigotti, Secretary General at RES4Africa Foundation. Mr. Vigotti said the training represents a “pivotal step towards creating an enabling environment for private sector investments in the clean energy sector,” adding that “by collaborating closely with ECA, GSE, and other partners, we aim to drive the energy transition across the continent, ensuring sustainable, reliable, and affordable electricity for all."

Alberto Biancardi, Director of Studies, Monitoring, and International Relations at GSE, said, “GSE is pleased to work together with RES4Africa and ECA in furthering the energy transition and is eager to continue supporting the creation of opportunities for building capacities to design the most effective ways of tackling persistent challenges and taking advantage of the wealth of opportunities on the continent.”

ECA maintains ongoing collaboration with member states in advancing regulation and market de-risking measures. This collaboration involves developing and implementing supportive regulatory instruments, capacity-building initiatives, and technical assistance to address the investment gap in the sector.

The Nairobi training was made possible through the cooperation and support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Enel Foundation. AFRY Management Consulting and Grupo Mercados Energéticos Consultores (GME) are also valued partners in delivering quality knowledge and skills sharing with participating experts.

Issued by:
Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Tel: +251 11 551 5826