Regional Power Trading

Regional power generation and interconnection can play a major role in increasing access to electricity in Africa – and power is the key driver of economic development and growth.  The Regional Economic Communities (RECs) promote regional power projects and trade through their respective power pools.

To encourage greater regional power generation, interconnectivity and trade, and to increase awareness of the issues and challenges, the ICA Secretariat took the initiative in 2011 to produce a report on the status of Africa’s regional power pools.

The 2011 report provided an overview of the Regional Power Pools in Africa including key data, infrastructure and institutional status, and investment trends.  It was widely disseminated to key stakeholders in the power sector in Africa (including governments and national utilities) and to DFIs (including ICA members) and the private sector.

The ICA Secretariat updated the report in 2016.  The new report includes updated and analysed data on the energy sector in Africa, identifies trends and possible solutions for the five Regional Power Pools, and looks at the potential to build effective power markets in the regions.

To help support the Regional Power Pools engagement with the private sector the ICA organised a two-day forum in Senegal in March 2016 in collaboration with the Association of Power Utilities of Africa (APUA).  Attended by over 45 senior officials representing the power pools, power utilities and other stakeholders, the forum focussed on how to engage the private sector in Africa’s power sector development and the role that the power pools can play in fostering enhanced private sector involvement.

To help build the capacity and expertise of the power pools, the ICA Secretariat has organised a series of training workshops for 2017, focussing on the legal and financial aspects of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).  Carried out in collaboration with the African Legal Support Facility (ALSF), the training follows the success of earlier workshops, conducted in 2014 and 2015 respectively for 10 Anglophone and 11 Francophone countries.  The first of the new training workshops, for the Southern African Power Pool, took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, early in 2017.  Three further workshops, covering the Eastern, West and Central African Power Pools, will take place later in 2017.

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