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African power pools: institutions, reforms, issues and challenges

M.A.E. Elabbas


In Africa, regional electricity markets are being developed through the establishment of five power pools that aim to promote electricity trade between countries in different regions. However, experiences from global regional electricity markets have shown that ineffective regional governance and flawed rules for regional trading and network cost allocation are the primary obstacles to realizing the benefits of well-designed regional markets. This paper contributes new information on the challenges and issues unique to African power pools, which are shaped by the power sector's specific situation in African countries and the political economy of regional integration. Using a case study approach, the paper analyses the experiences of the three major African power pools - SAPP, WAPP, and EAPP - and their regional institutions. The analysis identifies key challenges and issues that must be addressed to successfully manage and advance each power pool. By addressing these challenges and issues, the paper suggests how to move forward to promote regional power trade for each power pool.

Spanish layman's summary:

Este documento presenta el desarrollo de los tres principales pools energéticos africanos y los analiza a partir de la dinámica de la economía política y la integración regional. Se debaten los principales retos y problemas, y se ofrecen recomendaciones para avanzar en cada uno de ellos.

English layman's summary:

This paper presents the development of the three prominent African power pools and analyses them based on the dynamic of political economy and regional integration. Key challenges and issues are discussed, and recommendations on moving forward for each power pool are given.

Keywords: African Power Pools; Regional Electricity Market; Power Pool Reform; Regional Integration; Political Economy

Registration date: 12/04/2023


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