The ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA) has called for the reform of the electricity sector in Africa to ensure effective regulation of the sector.
A Regulatory Council member of ERERA, Mrs. Ifeyinwa Ikeonu, made the call Thursday while addressing participants at the on-going week-long workshop for the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP), titled “Regional Aspects of Electricity Sector Regulation”, in Accra, Ghana.
Mrs. Ikeonu, who is in charge of legal affairs at ERERA, said reform is a necessary step to any meaningful regulation of the electricity sector.
She shared ERERA’s experience on electricity regulation with the participants, including the delivery of its mandate, the scope of the institution’s responsibilities and powers, its relationship with the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP) and the national regulatory agencies in ECOWAS member states, as well as with the other ECOWAS institutions on energy.
These are the WAPP, the West African Gas Pipeline Authority (WAGPA), the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) and the Energy Directorate of the ECOWAS Commission.
The Regulatory Council member also provided updates on the technical and regulatory studies undertaken by ERERA, saying the studies were geared towards the implementation of a proper regulatory framework for the development of West Africa’s electricity market as well as the capacity building of all its stakeholders.
According to her, ERERA has benefitted greatly from the studies. Part of the benefits includes the enactment of the Directive on the Organisation of the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Market which has since been adopted and approved by the ECOWAS Council of Ministers.
PANA quotes an ERERA statement as saying that participants at the workshop, organised by the European Union, are drawn largely from the 10-member EAPP based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Established as a specialised institution of ECOWAS in January 2008 to oversee cross-border trade in electricity, ERERA is tasked with setting up of a regulatory and economic environment conducive to the development of the regional power market, as well as the actual development and regulation of the market.