Electricity reform is needed in Africa to ensure effective regulation, says the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA).  According to Mrs Ifeyinwa Ikeonu, a Regulatory Council member of ERERA,  reform is a necessary step to any meaningful regulation of the electricity sector.

She shared ERERA’s experience on electricity regulation with the participants, including the delivery of its mandate, the scope of the institution’s responsibilities and powers, its relationship with the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP) and the national regulatory agencies in ECOWAS member states, as well as with the other ECOWAS institutions on energy.  These include the West African Power Pool (WAPP), the West African Gas Pipeline Authority (WAGPA), the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) and the Energy Directorate of the ECOWAS Commission.

According to Mr Ikeonu, technical and regulatory studies undertaken by ERERA are gearing the way towards the implementation of a proper regulatory framework for the development of West Africa’s electricity market as well as capacity building of all its stakeholders.  She stated that ERERA has benefitted greatly from the studies. Part of the benefits includes the enactment of the Directive on the Organisation of the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Market which has been adopted and approved by the ECOWAS Council of Ministers.

Established as a specialised institution of ECOWAS in January 2008 to oversee cross-border trade in electricity, ERERA is tasked with setting up of a regulatory and economic environment conducive to the development of the regional power market, as well as the actual development and regulation of the market.

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