African Single Electricity Market to be world’s largest power trading programme

12 07 2022 | 07:45 Mediacy Mudekwa

The African Union has launched the African Single Electricity Market (AfSEM) which will one day become the world’s largest continent-wide energy trading programme.

The initiative is meant to interconnect all 55 African Union Member States through an efficient, affordable and sustainable electricity market. The implementation of the AfSEM will be supported by a Continental Power System Masterplan currently being developed by the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), to harmonise regulatory frameworks across various regions.

Representing the Chief Executive Officer of AUDA-NEPAD Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, Economic Integration Division Head with the Agency, Dr Towela Jere said the “launching of AfSEM came at the right time when Africa is determined to eradicate energy poverty.”

“AfSEM will be the largest interconnected electricity grid as well as the largest intraregional power trading system in the world expected to enhance the economic prospects of Africa,” Jere said.

The African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy Dr Amani Abou-Zeid highlighted that the African Single Electricity Market (AfSEM) is a timely response to bridge the electricity gap in Africa by optimising the continent’s abundant renewable energy sources towards achieving 100% access to electricity for the continent by 2030 in line with the AU Agenda 2063 and the UN Sustainable Development Goal Number 7.

“AfSEM and continental electricity markets will further human development, enhance economic prospects of the continent leveraging the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), underpinning productive transformation, industrialisation, digitalisation and job creation and that is what AfSEM is meant for,” said Abou-Zeid.

The European Union under its Technical Assistance Facility (EU TAF) supported the preparation of the AfSEM policy paper, roadmap and governing structure. Speaking at the launching ceremony EU’s Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to continue supporting the AfSEM in its next phases of implementation.

The first phase of AfSEM is supposed to be achieved by 2030 and it is expected to be fully operational by 2040.

Energy Trading Programme from Africa Single Electricity Market (AfSEM)

The Africa Single Electricity Market (AfSEM) is a targeted interventions aimed at facilitating sustainable development of the African electricity sector through the integrated continental electricity market based on the 2019 AfCFTA Agreement. The goal is to give African households, businesses and industries more secure, sustainable, reliable, competitive and affordable energy.

The journey to create AfSEM at the continental level started in 2015 in cooperation with the EU through the AU programme on Harmonisation of Regulatory Frameworks for the Electricity Market in Africa.

In addition to a series of products over the five years, the AfSEM Policy Paper, the Roadmap and the governance structure were prepared by a team of EU-TAF Experts coordinated by the Department of Infrastructure and Energy, validated by RECs, Power Pool, and other Pan African Energy Institutions and adopted by the AU Head of States at the 34th AU-Summit in February 2021.

AfSEM is meant to bring greater energy security, sustainability, and competitiveness to the Africa Union Member States. It will one day be the largest single electricity market in the world covering 55-member states serving a population of over 1.3 billion. AfSEM should become the most cost-efficient response for strong growth of electricity demand in Africa, an essential tool to use the full potential of the continent’s Renewable Energy Sources and an effective accelerator to 100% access of electricity in the continent.

Mediacy Mudekwa \