Supporting the development of the African Continent Power System Masterplan

Supporting the development of the African Continent Power System Masterplan

  • 29 September 2023
Experts from different international organizations met in the margins of the 67th IAEA General Conference to discussion African energy needs and how to meet them in a harmonised and integrated approach (Photos Credit: J. O'Brien/ IAEA)

According to the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), the energy needs of the African continent are expected to more than triple by 2040. To help countries to address this growing demand for energy and meet socio-economic needs in a clean, sustainable, and affordable way, the IAEA and International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) have been supporting, as official modelling partners, the development of the Continental Power System Masterplan (CMP) in Africa since 2021. In the margins of the IAEA’s 67th General Conference, experts from different international organizations, including from the European Union who have been backing the initiative, shared the vision behind the CMP and discussed its key deliverables.

“Our contribution to the development of Africa’s Continental Master Plan is an achievement I am particularly proud of,” shared Shaukat Abdulrazak, Director of the IAEA TC Division for Africa, highlighted in his opening remarks. “There is a pressing need for clean, dependable energy to fuel further socio-economic growth in the Continent, and the IAEA stands by to support it,” he added.

Going forwards, the CMP will act as the ‘blueprint’ for the African Single Electricity Market (AfSEM) and as a central pillar in solving Africa’s energy challenges. “We are proud of this unique initiative, which is the result of a bottom up, collaborative approach involving representatives from the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), power pools, and energy stakeholders on the Continent working together with international partners and organizations towards a common goal,” said Towela Nyirenda-Jere, head of the African Union Economic Integration Division, speaking at the event.

Shaukat Abdulrazak, DIR-TCAF, addressed members of the audience and the high-profile panellists from the IAEA, the African Union Development Agency, the European Union and the South African Power Pool (Photos Credit: J. O'Brien/ IAEA).

Power systems in Africa are currently organized into four subregions or “Power Pools”, each of which faces different challenges based on available resources, infrastructure and needs. “These power pools are the building blocks of the future African Single Electricity Market (AFSEM),” shared Stephen Dihwa, Executive Director of the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP),

“Africa needs to take full advantage of its rich energy resources to achieve an affordable and sustainable clean energy transition,” said Wei Huang, Director of the IAEA’s Division of Planning, Information and Knowledge Management in the Department of Nuclear Energy.

Following the presentation of key points by each speaker, a lively discussion between panelists and the audience ensued. The event was a demonstration of what can be achieved when governments, international organizations and other key stakeholders come together to solve pressing regional issues.

Imen Bentouhami, PMO, TCAF