Development finance institution, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the African Union’s Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) plan to develop a blueprint for a pan-continental electricity network and market, the organisations have said.
“The Continental Power System Master Plan will ensure that competitive electricity markets are developed at regional and continental levels, creating unique opportunities to optimally utilise Africa’s vast energy resources for the benefit of Africa,” senior energy adviser to AUDA-NEPAD’s CEO, Professor Mosad Elmissiry said in a statement issued this week.
Development of a unified electricity transmission network and market for electricity trading are viewed as a critical priority to improve the lives of people across the continent.
“Most State-owned electric utilities in Africa today are unable to secure the financial resources needed to implement required segments of regional interconnectors and associated national feeder lines,” said AfDB national and regional power systems manager Angela Nalikka in explaining the impetus for the partnership.
“The bank plans to encourage private sector participation in transmission projects in the continent.”
The master plan will also inform the energy component of the Programme for Infrastructure Development (PIDA) Action Plan, which focuses on key regional integration projects.
The agreement to set up a Continental Power System Master Plan between the bank and AUDA-NEPAD was unveiled on November 29 during a three-day workshop on the sidelines of PIDA Week held in Cairo. The workshop also produced the master plan’s terms of reference.
The workshop was aimed at advancing the launch of an Integrated Continental Transmission Network (ICTN) to link national power utilities into regional power pools and, ultimately, into a continent-wide transmission network.
Plans also include setting up a market for electricity trading, the organisations said.