Ewura DG calls for joint efforts to address electricity challenges

THE Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) Director General, Engineer Modestus Lumato has emphasized on importance of joint efforts among the Eastern and Western African countries under the umbrella of Independent Regulatory Board (IRB) to address electricity challenges.

Eng. Lumato issued the call on Thursday when leading the IRB delegation from the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP) as they embark on 10-day visit to the West African countries to study matters related to electricity.

“The EAPP members from Burundi, Djibouti, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda are on a study tour to see how the West African countries handle the regional electricity market and their regulations,” he noted.

Eng. Lumato said the EAPP was mandated to provide efficient coordination of power production, transmission, and trade in the region and to facilitate the development of regional electricity market.

He was optimistic that through the tour, the EAPP members would increase awareness and knowledge through learning from other countries, thus increasing efficiency and production in issues related to electricity in their respective countries.

Moreover, he said, through the tour, the member countries had the opportunity to learn a scope of measures and intervention applied to address challenges, learning on a number of options and advise wisely in decision making as a regulatory board of EAPP.

Eng. Lumato commended the World Bank for supporting the study tour to the ECOWAS Division, saying it has provided them with an opportunity and ideal platform for knowledge exchange thus increasing their understanding and awareness on how regional electricity market and its regulation are arranged and executed.

The exchange would offer members of IRB and EAPP an opportunity to explore a range of different options that have been tested elsewhere to influence current and future decision-making.

Eng.Lumato said there were several similarities and differences between the EAPP, WAPP and their subsidiary energy institutions thus the study tour was of importance for the sector growth.

The study tour was due to the fact that Eastern and Western power pool countries have varying and wide differences in the status of their national electricity markets.

“They range from very small countries with vertically integrated state-owned  utilities to partially unbundled systems, and to countries that have fully unbundled and privatized power companies, thus learning from each block was crucial” he said.

On top of that, he noted, the legal framework for the regional energy market created by the ECOWAS Energy Protocol was more recent, dynamic and enforceable and provides important learning points for the other regions.

The study tour is part of the IRB capacity building programme that aims at facilitating knowledge transfer among the members and give them an opportunity to obtain first-hand knowledge and experience so that they have in place functional regional energy regulatory institutions.

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