The African Electrotechnical Standardization Commission, AFSEC was inaugurated on 28 February 2008 as a result of a collaborative effort among stakeholders since 2005, and underpinned by a declaration of the Conference of African Ministers of Energy held in Algiers on 17th February 2008.
WHO SHOULD BECOME 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 be participate in the activities of AFSEC, by forming a national electrotechnical committee in each country. Several countries already have fully established committees, either as members of the IEC, or through the IEC affiliate country programme for developing countries. National electrotechnical committees are the potential statutory members of AFSEC.
In the field of electricity, electronics and related technologies, the African Electrotechnical Standardisation Commission (AFSEC) is responsible for
Identification of existing standards and prioritization of standards needs,
Harmonizing 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 harmonized standards for application by the appropriate bodies of the African Union.
These standards serve as basis for national and regional standardisation and as references when it comes to drawing up tenders and international contracts.
The mission of AFSEC is to promote, through its members, the inter-African cooperation for everything related to standardisation and related problems, such as the assessment of the compliance with the standards, in the fields of electricity, electronics and related technologies.
Its activities cover electronics, magnetism and electromagnetism, electroacoustics, multimedia, telecommunications, the generation, transmission, distribution and consumption of electrical energy, as well as general related subjects, such as terminology and symbols, electromagnetic compatibility, metrology and the aptitude for the function, operating safety, studies and development, safety and the environment.
The African Electrotechnical Standardisation Commission (AFSEC) has as objectives:
to improve the wellbeing of the African populations, mainly by the promotion, development and application of harmonised standards on the entire continent in order to improve access to electricity;
- to meet the needs of the African continental market with competence;
- to ensure the pre-eminence and the maximum use of its standards and compliance assessment methods on the African continent;
- to assess and improve the quality of the products and services covered by its standards;
- to create the conditions guaranteeing the interactivity of the complex systems;
- to increase the efficiency of the industrial processes;
- to facilitate the trade on the African continent by removing the different technical obstacles, thus opening up new markets and furthering economic integration and economic growth;
- to offer to the industry and users a framework of dialogue making it possible to achieve considerable savings in the design, quality products and services;
- to contribute to the improvement of the health and safety of persons;
- to contribute to the protection of the environment by offering to the parties concerned an efficient infrastructure for the improvement, maintenance, and distribution of a coherent set of standards.
3. MEMBERS OF AFSEC
Any country wishing to participate in the work of the Commission forms a National Electrotechnical Committee. There is only one National Electrotechnical Committee per country. Only the National Committees of African Union (AU) member states can become members of the Commission. The National Electrotechnical Committee must be fully representative of the national interests in the fields of activity of the Commission. The members of the African Electrotechnical Standardisation Commission (AFSEC) that have accepted to comply with the Statutes and Rules of Procedure are:
1. Statutory members
The National Electrotechnical Committees: one (1) per structure
2. Affiliate members
Regional Electrotechnical Committees: one (1) per structure;
UPDEA: two (2) representatives
the representative of African Energy Commission (AFREC):
the representative of the AU Commission;
AFSEC offers a forum making it possible to develop inter-border trade. In this, the role of the participants is:
- to promote the objectives of the Commission;
- to sustain the work;
- to implement the decisions of AFSEC;
- to apply the African and international electrotechnical standards in a transparent manner.
The members can establish a network of contacts within the community of manufacturers, users, consumers, technical experts and representatives of the AU. Moreover, the members must play a key role at all levels of decision-making of the bodies of AFSEC so as to obtain a broad consensus during the work.
There are two forms of participation in the work of AFSEC:
- The status of statutory member, giving the possibility to the members to participate fully in the work of all the bodies of AFSEC. The statutory members have voting rights.
- The status of affiliate member, giving the possibility to the members to participate in all the bodies of AFSEC. They do not pay dues and do not have voting rights.
4. BODIES OF AFSEC
The following figure gives a schematic diagram of the organisation of the decision-making bodies of the African Electrotechnical Standardisation Commission (AFSEC).
4.1 AFSEC Council
The supreme authority of AFSEC is the Council, which is the General Assembly consisting of the full members of the Commission.
- The AFSEC Council is a legislative body which has among others the role of:
defining the policy of AFSEC and the long-term strategic and financial objectives;
electing the directors of AFSEC, as well as the members and presidents of the Management Committee, of the
- Technical Studies Committees, and of the Compliance Assessment Committee;
deciding on the number of Technical Studies Committees in which the associate members can participate and validate their distribution; being responsible for the review of the Statutes and Rules of Procedure of AFSEC and for the settling of appeals emanating from the Management Committee; approving the accounts of AFSEC and appointing the auditor upon proposal of the Management Committee;approving the standards in the fields of electricity, electronics and associated technologies.
- The Council delegates the management of all activities of AFSEC to the Management Committee, certain management responsibilities in the field of standards and compliance assessment being devolved upon the
- Technical Studies Committees, the Compliance Assessment Committee and/or the Executive Secretary respectively.
- The Council meets at least once a year.
- The Council designates, in accordance with the statutes and internal regulations, the President, the Vice-presidents, the Executive Secretary, the Chairmen of Technical Studies Committees, the 10 delegate members of the Management Committee, the Treasurer and the Auditor.
- The Affiliate Members are entitled to be observers at council meetings but do not have voting rights.
4.2 Management Committee
The Management Committee implements the policy of the Council and makes policy recommendations to the latter. It ratifies the agendas of the meetings of the Council and prepares the related documents, receives and examines the reports of the Technical Studies Committees, and of the Compliance Assessment Committee.
It also has the task to create advisory bodies, according to the needs, and to propose to the Council the Chairmen and the members of these advisory bodies.
The Management Committee is composed as follows:
- the President of the Commission;
- the Vice-Presidents;
- the Executive Secretary;
- the 10 delegate members elected by the Council;
- the Chairmen of the Technical Studies Committees;
- the Treasurer (without voting right).
The Management Committee informs the Council of all its decisions. It normally meets at least twice a year.
4.3 Secretariat of AFSEC
The Secretariat implements the decisions of the Council and of the Management Committee and ensures their correct application or execution.
Furthermore, it has the role of:
supervising the administrative operation of AFSEC; coordinating and supporting the activities of the Technical Studies Committees and of the Compliance Assessment Committee; ensuring on a daily basis the distribution of the work, the decisions of AFSEC and the publication of the final texts of the standards at the level of the members and the bodies of the AU; making available the resources necessary for their operation to the different committees;
realising the promotion and distribution of the electrotechnical standards and strengthening the capabilities of the members and the national electrotechnical committees so as to guarantee that the product or service is realised and has undergone the tests in compliance with the standards in force; drawing up the procedures, work instructions, mission and job sheets of the different bodies of AFSEC to be submitted to the Management Committee and to the Council.
The Secretariat draws up the agendas and the documents for the Management Committee.
4.4 Technical Studies Committees
The Technical Studies Committees are responsible for identifying and harmonising the standards at the appropriate time in liaison with other international organisations and in accord with the standards market. They give advice on the priorities in the choices of standards to be studied. They are responsible for the monitoring or experience feedback at the level of the standards applicable. They draw up the planning of their activities which they submit for approval to the Management Committee. They inform the Management Committee of all their decisions.
Taking into account the complexity of the subjects to be dealt with and in order to be efficient, any Technical Studies Committee may organise itself into sub-committees.
Each Technical Studies Committee is composed as follows:
- one President;
- one rapporteur (chosen from the 8 members elected by the Council);
- eight (8) members (and their substitutes);
- the Executive Secretary or his representative (without voting right);
- the Vice-President of AFSEC in charge of the coordination of the activities of the Technical Studies Committees.
Each Technical Studies Committee designates the rapporteur from its own ranks.
4.5 Compliance Assessment Committee
The Compliance Assessment Committee is the institution in which the practical problems of the methods and tests on the compliance assessment of AFSEC in the fields of electricity, electronics and related technologies are analysed.
It’s mission is to assess and modify the activities of assessing the compliance of the products or services in accordance with the regulations of AFSEC and in liaison with other international bodies for matters of compliance assessment. It manages the compliance assessment system and verifies the compliance with the rules and procedures. It verifies that the compliance certificates are well-recognised at the level of the members.
The Compliance Assessment Committee is composed as follows:
- one President;
- one rapporteur (chosen from the 10 members elected by the Council);
- ten (10) members (and their substitutes) elected by the Council;
- one representative (without voting right) of each individual compliance assessment system of the Commission;
- the Executive Secretary or his representative (without voting right).
- It accounts for all its decisions to the Management Committee. It meets at least once a year.4.6 TreasurerThe Treasurer of AFSEC under the responsibility of the Secretariat is designated by the Council upon proposal of the Management Committee.
- The duration of his term is defined by the Council upon proposal of the Management Committee.
- The functions of the Treasurer are as follows:
- guide the Commission for all financial matters;
- submit for approval to the Management Committee and the Council, the budget drawn up on the basis of the indications supplied by the Executive Secretary;
- present to the Management Committee and to the Council his remarks on the duly verified annual financial report;
- report to the Management Committee and to the Council on any other financial matter.
The resources of the Commission come from the annual membership fees paid by the statutory members, fixed according to the provisions decreed by the Council, donations, bequests, contributions of the Africa Union and investment income of AFSEC.
The debts and liabilities of the Commission are guaranteed solely and exclusively by the property of the Commission.
Each year, the Council fixes the budget and the annual membership fees of the statutory members, for the following year.