Kigali — The Energy sector experts from the government of Rwanda, the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the RES4Africa Foundation held a virtual meeting to discuss the Rwanda Energy Policy and Regulation related to attracting the participation of the Private Sector.
At the opening of the meeting, Ms Mama Keita, Director of ECA in Eastern Africa stressed the importance of the energy sector to boost development across Africa, stating that investment in energy infrastructure at both the national and regional levels is required for future economic growth and prosperity on the continent.
Keita reminded the participants how reliable and affordable power supply is required for African firms to produce goods and services in a competitive way, for exchange within the continent to take advantage of the AfCFTA.
The meeting which validated regulatory data gathered for the electricity sector of Rwanda was organised by the Energy, Infrastructure and Services Section (EISS) of the ECA.
Mr Yohannes Hailu, Economic Affairs Officer at the ECA, explained that the meeting is part of a continental effort to address regulatory barriers to private sector participation in the energy sector. He stated that based on the validated data, completion of the Rwanda country assessment report is expected to provide valuable input towards further regulatory improvements in Rwanda, complementing advances already made, in support of the growth of the energy industry through private sector participation.
Hailu further highlighted that the regulatory review work currently being carried out across Africa is part of the ECA Executive Secretary's initiative under the SDG7 Finance Initiative, which seeks to strengthen the sector's governance to crowd-in investment in the energy sector. SDG 7 goal seeks to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy.
Similar validation meetings have been held with experts in Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, South Africa and Zambia, in July and August 2020. The second phase of the regulatory review work is currently on-going in Côte d'Ivoire, Mauritania, Senegal and Seychelles.
Africa needs to strengthen its regulatory environment in the energy sector to facilitate effective private sector participation and help close its energy infrastructure gap, increase competitiveness and attain inclusive and sustainable development.