The World Energy Council African regional activities focuses on energy issues such as energy access, energy efficiency, energy policies, energy scenarios, performance of power generating plants, large scale hydro power, renewable energy, energy interconnectivity, cross-border and trans-continental power transmission network.
To facilitate those activities, the World Energy Council community in the region has developed working level relationships with African Union Commission (AUC), African Energy Commission (AFREC), and Association of Power Utilities of Africa (APUA, or formerly UPDEA). The Council also works closely with the African Development Bank in the region.
The Africa Energy Indaba is the Council’s official regional forum, which is held in Johannesburg, South Africa, every February. The event hosts the Council’s regional workshops looking at energy access, energy trilemma and energy scenarios studies along with highlighting key energy issues and priorities in the region.
Energy in Africa
A historic step was taken by African Leaders in 2018 with the creation of the African Free Trade market. This move will definitively impact the trade of goods and services, including in the energy sector, and is expected to boost intra-Africa trade and, by extension, regional integration and industrial development.
Another notable step in the region is the steady progress towards building the critical ingredients for sustainable and resilient societies. This is in line with the implementation of the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development (e.g. Goal 7) and the 2063 African Union Agenda.
Energy infrastructure development and access to modern energy services are improving, but still challenging in most countries in Africa.
- Based on the 2018 World Energy Issues Monitor responses, energy leaders in Africa recognise a number of critical uncertainties and action priorities.
- Comparing 2017 responses to 2018, key critical uncertainties such as electricity prices and decentralised systems continue to be uncertainties, while market design and China moved to the action priorities area.
- Action priorities keeping similar positions to previous years, but with higher degree of impact, include renewable energies, energy efficiency and regional integration. These issues have been stable in the African energy agenda over the past years.
- Energy access remains an overarching challenge, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa where the electricity access rate is 35 % overall - and only 19% in rural areas.
- Commodity prices moved from action priorities to high uncertainties, around the same position the issue had in 2016. The fluctuation of commodity prices has led to the decrease in value of many export products. The high global uncertainty drives energy leaders to diversify their exports.