22 May 2012 – Following from declarations of the conferences of African Ministers of Energy in March 2006 and February 2008, the African Electrotechnical Standardisation Commission (AFSEC) was inaugurated by the founding members in February 2008. It has the full support of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Energy Commission, the International Electrotechnical Commission), the Union of Producers, Transporters and Distributors of Electric Power in Africa and the African Organization for Standardisation.

AFSEC has now established five technical committees and agreed its operational procedures. These will mirror the work of the relevant IEC technical committees, primarily with a view to recommending the adoption or adaptation of IEC and other electrotechnical standards for application at the level of the African continent.

Some of the technical committees are:

TC 8: Systems aspects for electrical energy supply
Chairman: C Kanyamihigo, Rwanda
Secretary: R Adewumi, Nigeria

TC 13: Electrical energy measurement, tariff- and load control
Chairman: R Hill, South Africa
Secretary: Dr H el-Salmawy, Egypt

TC 57: Power systems management and associated information exchange
Chairman: O Amonoo-Neizer, Ghana
Secretary: A Mboa, Kenya

TC 64: Electrical installations and protection against electric shock
Chairman: T Simiyu, Kenya
Secretary: I Kruger, South Africa

TC 77: Electromagnetic compatibility
Chairman: A Ogunsola, Nigeria
Secretary: Dr S Eissa, Egypt

Each AFSEC technical committee has prepared a strategic business plan that will guide its activities.

African national electrotechnical committees are the potential statutory members of AFSEC. All users of electrotechnical standards in African countries − electricity utilities, the national standards bodies, electricity regulators, consultants, contractors and suppliers of electrical equipment and services – should participate in the activities of AFSEC, by forming a national electrotechnical committee and joining AFSEC.

Many African countries are participants in the affiliate country programme of the IEC and it would be mutually beneficial for all such countries to become members of AFSEC. Together, AFSEC members will have the potential to have significant influence on the standards developed by the IEC to ensure their relevance to the environment in Africa.

Sub-regional groupings involved in electrotechnical standardisation are invited to join as affiliate members of AFSEC. In particular, the standardisation structures within the regional economic communities in Africa should be active members of AFSEC to ensure synergy and avoid duplication of efforts in the harmonisation of electrotechnical standards.

In the field of electricity, electronics and related technologies, the AFSEC is responsible for; identification of existing standards and prioritisation of standards needs, harmonising existing standards, through either the adoption of international standards, or where necessary their adaptation to African conditions; where there is a need, identifying draft standards to be developed by the members of AFSEC for adoption, and recommending harmonised standards for application by the appropriate bodies of the AU.