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SSA lacks sustainable energy policies, says RISE 2016 report

Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the least developed policy environments to support energy access, says a new World Bank report released on Wednesday.

The report – RISE 2016: Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy – highlights that many countries globally – Mexico, China, Turkey, India, Vietnam, Brazil, and South Africa – are emerging as leaders in sustainable energy, with robust policies to support energy access, renewables and energy efficiency.

RISE 2016 report findings

“Policy frameworks for grid densification and expansion, which are the mainstay of electrification efforts, lag substantially and still need to make progress,” the report noted.

According to a press statement, as many as 40% of sub-Saharan African countries surveyed by RISE have hardly implemented any of the policy measures needed to accelerate energy access.

This is compared to less than 10% of Asian countries. Exceptions include Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda which have strong policy frameworks, the World Bank noted in a statement.

Business Day reported that according to Vivien Foster, the World Bank’s global lead for energy economics, the report showed “on the whole that African countries are scoring very poorly on the policy environment for energy access.

“As many as 40% of them are in the red zone, meaning they’ve barely begun to take policy measures to accelerate access to energy.”

According to Foster, South Africa, Tunisia and Morocco were showing promise, the Business Day reported.

Report guidelines

The report, which will be updated every two years, said local authorities should use its findings to compare their policies to regional and global peers in efforts to meet the development goals.

According to the World Bank, the report has 27 indicators and 80 subindicators and examines over 3,000 laws, regulations and policy documents.

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.