The African Development Bank (ADB) approves a $1.5 million grant for COMESA and a $1 million grant for SADC to advance electricity regulation in the regions. The grants aim to aid in technical assistance to promote the development and adoption of electricity regulations, increase utility performance monitoring across the region, manage a cross-border electricity tariffs analysis, and create a centralized database management system in COMESA and SADC.
COMESA consists of 19 member countries: Burundi, Comoros, Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. SADC consists of 16 member countries: Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. COMESA member countries have a vast energy potential yet to be utilized, including hydropower in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia and solar, wind & geothermal reserves in Kenya & Uganda. However, they aren’t adequately used due to lack of infrastructure, uncompetitive electricity tariffs, and dependent on traditional fuel sources such as wood and charcoal.
SADC has the highest generation capacity of all African regions and plenty of water but is low in biomass, solar, and wind energy potential, especially in rural areas. This is partially due to an ineffective regulatory environment, a need for new infrastructure, and a dependence on coal and hydropower.
The projects aim to create cross-border trading in the COMESA & SADC regional areas, covering 28 African countries. The grant aids in developing electricity regulations, creating a centralized database system, analyzing electricity tariffs, & more. The Regional Association of Energy Regulators for Eastern and Southern Africa (RAERESA) for COMESA and the Regional Energy Regulators Association of Southern Africa (RERA) for SADC will implement the projects.