Though the majority of African countries have developed relatively robust institutional frameworks for the regulation of their electricity sectors, much work remains in strengthening regulatory independence, says the Electricity Regulatory Index for Africa (ERI) – a crucial new report by the African Development Bank.

The Report, released on the sidelines of the 2018 Africa Energy Forum (AEF) in Mauritius, measures the level of development of regulatory frameworks in 15 African countries and examines their impact on the performance of their respective electricity sectors. ERI also identifies areas in which improvement is most needed in Cameroon, CÔte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

“The main goal with the ERI is to incite key stakeholders in the African power sector to address regulatory performance and the gaps identified in the study,” said Amadou Hott, Vice President, Power, Energy Climate and Green Growth Complex at the African Development Bank.

The ERI is expected to become a benchmarking tool that will track progress made by African countries as they align the regulatory frameworks governing their electricity sectors with international standards and best practices.

The African Forum for Utilities Regulators (AFUR) described the Index as a useful tool for improving electricity regulation and pledged to work with the Bank to sustain the initiative.

Debbie Roets, Executive Secretary of AFUR said: “We are glad that the African Development Bank has indicated that it will produce new, updated Index results on an annual basis, and will seek to encourage more countries to participate in subsequent editions. AFUR will provide the needed support.”

The Index pointed to how the past two decades had witnessed a transformation of the electricity market in Africa following the gradual opening, liberalization, and reform of national electricity markets.