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Liberia is taking steps towards privatising the electricity sector

In West Africa, the Liberian Senate has endorsed a recommendation from its committee on Lands, Mines, Energy, Natural Resources and Environment, requesting the implementation of two pieces of legislation to privatise the energy sector, Front Page Africa reported.

Liberia: open the market to private sector

The recommendation report advised that the Senate invites stakeholders in the private sector to enter the market.

The report further states that the establishment of an independent and transparent regulatory process will stimulate private sector investment in the energy sector, as set out in the National Energy Policy.

The committee said: “To achieve independence and transparency, the institutional framework must avoid conflicts of interest and overlapping roles by separating policy setting, regulatory oversight, and policy implementation and operation.”

Process of unbundling the sector

In July, the committee held a public hearing with various sector stakeholders on the liberalisation of the electricity sector in Liberia.

The government of Liberia has been advised in recent years to unbundle the electricity sector as a way of facilitating easy and affordable electricity access.

The committee added that the roles of the electricity sector must be divided into three independent institutions regardless of the type of electricity law passed.

According to Front Page Africa, the new law makes provision for the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy to be responsible for overseeing energy policies while an independent energy regulatory board, commission or authority will manage policy implementation by both public and private operators.

The second piece of legislation will focus solely on the role that the Liberia Electricity Corporation, or its successor company, will play.

Electricity access expansion programme

Earlier this year, the World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved a new $60 million (ZAR727 million) International Development Association (IDA) credit for the Government of Liberia.

The credit was approved to facilitate the continuation and expansion of affordable electricity services to businesses and households in order to spur economic growth, create jobs, and reduce poverty.

The World Bank said in a statement that the additional financing will support the ongoing Liberia Accelerated Electricity Expansion Project (LACEEP) which aims to advance Liberia’s national Agenda For Transformation to achieve a more prosperous and inclusive society.