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Despite the majority of African countries having developed relatively robust institutional frameworks for the regulation of their electricity sectors, much work remains in strengthening regulatory independence.

This is where an independent third party is crucial to measure the level of development of regulatory frameworks in African countries.

On the sidelines of the 2018 Africa Energy Forum (AEF) in Mauritius, the African Development Bank released a report, Electricity Regulatory Index for Africa (ERI) , which examines the development of regulatory frameworks and also studies their impact on the performance of their respective electricity sectors.

ERI also identifies areas in which improvement is most needed in Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

“The main goal with the ERI is to incite key stakeholders in the African power sector to address regulatory performance and the gaps identified in the study,” said Amadou Hott, Vice-President, power, energy climate and green growth complex at the African Development Bank.

The ERI is expected to become a benchmarking tool that will track progress made by African countries as they align the regulatory frameworks governing their electricity sectors with international standards and best practices.

The African Forum for Utilities Regulators (AFUR) described the Index as a useful tool for improving electricity regulation and pledged to work with the Bank to sustain the initiative.

Debbie Roets, executive secretary of AFUR said: “We are glad that the African Development Bank has indicated that it will produce new, updated Index results on an annual basis, and will seek to encourage more countries to participate in subsequent editions. AFUR will provide the needed support.”

The report noted: “On average, well developed electricity regulatory governance systems exist in all fifteen sample countries. However, there is room for improvement with respect to accountability and independence to align with international best practices often necessary to attract future investment into the sector.

Download the Electricity Regulatory Index for Africa 2018