The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group approved, on September 26, 2012, the revised Bank Group Energy Sector Policy. This Policy supersedes the 1994 Bank Group Energy Sector Policy and the 1985 Framework for Public Utility Tariff Policy previously applied to Electric Power, Telecommunications, Water Supply and Sanitation operations.
It is the product of broad-based and transparent consultations internally within the Bank Group and externally with key stakeholders including the regional member countries (RMCs), regional economic communities (RECs), the private sector, development partners and the civil society.
The new Energy Sector Policy provides a general framework that will help the Bank to face a dual challenge: addressing the continent's energy needs in order to unlock its development potential while responding to energy related local and global environmental concerns, especially climate change, and sustainably reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
The Policy advances therefore the following objectives: (i) to support regional member countries (RMCs) in their efforts to provide all of their populations and productive sectors with access to modern, affordable and reliable energy infrastructure and services; and (ii) to help RMCs develop their energy sector in a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable manner.
Increasing access to energy for all remains a priority for the Bank, given the urgent need for more cost-effective powering of the continent's economic activity to enhance its competitiveness.
It is critical for driving faster economic growth and equitable social development. To that effect, the Bank will help its RMCs to harness their energy resource endowments to ensure energy security and expand access to affordable and reliable energy services. It will adopt a demand-driven approach customized to RMCs/RECs' specific circumstances, resources endowments and priorities.
However, to ensure that its efforts to increase access to energy for all do not undermine its commitment to social and environmental sustainability, the AfDB will help its clients (i) assess different energy options against their ability to help achieving such objective; and (ii) adopt gradually a low-carbon and sustainable growth path, underpinned by the three levers of renewable sources, energy efficiency and clean technologies.
To effectively deliver on the policy, Medium-Term Energy Strategies proposing results-oriented operational action plans will be developed under the leadership of the Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department. The Bank will ensure mainstreaming of the energy dimension in its policies, strategies and operations. It will also step up efforts for resources mobilization, investments in staff skills development, and engagement in strategic partnerships.