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The East African Community (ECA) has partnered with the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) to help East African countries tackle the increasing energy insecurity affecting the region. The ECA launched the Energy Security Policy Framework during the annual regional meeting of the organisation in East Africa, focusing on the implementation of the continental free trade area.

East Africa Energy Security Policy Framework launchedThe EAC policy framework aims at improving security and affordability of energy supply, and advancing the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 7 on universal access on clean, affordable, sustainable and reliable energy. The framework will “enhance Africa’s resilience”, according to the ECA, providing guidance to member States on the measurement, monitoring and management of energy security in the biomass, electricity and oil and gas sub-sectors.

“Without affordable and security energy supplies, we face hurdles of industrial development, and a growing dependence on imported energy that undermines our balance of payments and macroeconomic performance. Without energisation, there will be no industrialisation,” says Christophe Bazivamo, Deputy Secretary General of the East African Community.

Robert Nyavumba, Manager of the Energy Division at the Ministry of Infrastructure in Rwanda adds that more investment in energy infrastructure is needed to increase trade relations on the continent and ensure the success of the AfCFTA. “Much of the progress we seek to achieve as a society, in terms of better education, health, job creation, industrialisation, efficient public services and others rely on sustainable, affordable and dependable supply of energy.”

ECA studies show that the lack of secure electricity supply undermines the pace of growth by 2% up to 5% of GDP. Due to over reliance on fossil fuels and a lack of refining capacity, petroleum imports amount to as much as 10% of GDP in East African countries. About 90% of the EAC population also rely excessively on biomass (charcoal and firewood) for energy sources, leading to rapid deforestation and creating long-term risks to the security and sustainability of the energy supply.

“Deforestation, rising wood and charcoal prices, increasing imports of oil and gas are some of the symptoms of energy insecurity we face in East Africa. This framework will facilitate regional collaboration to collectively improve energy security,” says Andrew Mold, Acting Director of the ECA in East Africa.

Image credit: https://www.africa-newsroom.com/press/media/regional-cooperation-in-east-africa-set-to-tackle-energy-insecurity?lang=en?display=image

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