On February 7, 2021, the new African Single Electricity Market (AfSEM) was officially launched by African Heads of State and Government, during the 34th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly in its virtual meeting. The AfSEM paves the way to one of the largest electricity markets in the world, covering the African Union's 55 Member States, and a population of more than 1.3 billion.
The African Union Assembly took place over 6-7 February, 2021, and was preceded earlier this year by a Ministerial Session of the African Union Specialised Technical Committee on Transport, Transcontinental and Interregional Infrastructure, Energy and Tourism (STC-TTIIET), whereby all works regarding the AfSEM policy formulations including the Policy, the Roadmap, and the Governance structure were validated by the AU Member States’ Ministers of Energy.
The AfSEM’s first phase is projected to be achieved as early as 2023, while full operation is anticipated to be reached by 2040.
The AfSEM aims at connecting the Continent’s energy strategies and action plans by harmonising regulatory frameworks and integrating generation, transmission, and distribution master plans. This will allow for the diversification of energy sources supporting energy transition, better trade and investments exchanges, and close the energy infrastructure gaps between regions and countries.
The official launch of the AfSEM is also a major milestone in the work carried out in the scope of the partnership between the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) for the Harmonisation of the African Electricity Market.
With the support of the European Union’s dedicated Technical Assistance Facility for Sustainable Energy (EU TAF), the African Union has been coordinating the harmonisation of African electricity markets since 2015, with the strategic objectives to improve access to reliable and sustainable energy, to promote industrialisation, economic development, and job creation.