The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is a regional grouping of 22 African States which have agreed to promote regional integration through trade development and investment. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is a regional economic community comprising 15 Member States; Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Established in 1992, SADC is committed to regional Integration and poverty eradication within Southern Africa through economic development and ensuring peace and security

It is in this regard that COMESA and SADC through the Regional Association of Energy Regulators for Eastern and Southern Africa (RAERESA) and Regional Energy Regulators Association of Southern Africa (RERA) are currently spearheading implementation of the European Union-funded Project on Enhancement of a Sustainable Regional Energy Market in the Eastern Africa, Southern Africa and Indian Ocean (EA-SA-IO) Region.

The overall objective of the project is to enhance a sustainable regional energy market in the EA-SA-IO region, which is conducive to investment and promoting sustainable development. The project is relevant for the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the United National agenda 2030 and contributes primarily to the progressive achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) target 7 of ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. It also promotes progress towards Goal 5 of achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, Goal 9 of building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation, and Goal 12 of ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Most countries in the Eastern Africa-Southern Africa-Indian Ocean (EA-SA-IO) region have experienced energy supply challenges, although it is a region with high potential capacity of energy resources when compared to other sub-Saharan African regions. These challenges are manifested by inadequate level and coverage of physical energy infrastructure due to insufficient investment in the energy sector, inefficiency, unreliability and high cost of operating of existing energy infrastructure services, increased demand due to increased economic growth and population growth, energy poverty in terms of low access rate and reliance on traditional fuels (wood fuels), and the issue of low utilization of clean energy option which includes energy efficiency and renewable energy. These challenges have resulted in increased cost of doing business which has negatively impacted the competitiveness of the region in its internal and external markets.

It is envisaged that the planned expansion of cross-border power transmission interconnectors could, in the short, medium and longer term, increase the share of energy traded between the regions and the nations helping to increase reliability and security of supply. However, regional trade has been hampered by the inadequacy of the generation and transmission infrastructure due to among other factors, the lack of investments.

Similarly, regulatory oversight of the regional energy market that would otherwise boost transparency and inspire investor confidence is weak and casts some serious aspersions on the integrity and credibility of the market from investors’ perspective. Important tools and objective mechanisms necessary for providing effective regulatory oversight such as harmonized transmission pricing methodology and regional market and grid codes are either not clear or are missing thus limiting cross border power trade. Further, existing regional regulatory bodies such as RAERESA, RERA and the Independent Regulatory Board of the East African Power Pool (IRB), and their Member Regulators are not playing an active role in providing regulatory oversight of the regional market because their roles in this market are not defined.

Unless the current challenges facing the regional energy market are addressed, the short and long-term sustainability of the EA-SA-IO regional energy market will be compromised, and the attendant good benefits will be unrealisable into the foreseeable future.

There is therefore a need for an enhanced regional energy market steered by harmonized, efficient and gender-sensitive regulatory frameworks and for capacitated regional regulators and power pools to more effectively oversee and stimulate increased regional power trade in the EA-SA-IO region.

Under the collaboration framework with SADC, COMESA is currently carrying out studies to develop regional harmonized legal and regulatory frameworks and synthesized renewable energy and energy efficiency programs which are envisaged to achieve the following Results under the Project on Enhancement of a Sustainable Regional Energy Market in the Eastern Africa, Southern Africa and Indian Ocean (EA-SA-IO) Region (ESREM):

  1. a regionally harmonised legal, regulatory and policy framework that integrates gender perspectives and adopted by regional and national regulatory institutions, with emphasis on cross border issues to encourage investments in the region.
  2. capacity building programs for the regional regulatory institutions (RAERESA, EREA and RERA) and power pools (EAPP and SAPP) to enable the existing regional institutions drive the process of regional integration, regulatory and policy harmonisation, as well as the development of the regional energy market.
  3. a synthesized renewable energy and energy efficiency strategy, adopted by Member States, to provide an integrated framework in the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency programmes in order to support the achievement of the region’s clean energy goals.

The above results once adopted and domesticated by the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), their specialized institutions and Member States, are expected to stimulate regional integration, energy trade and investment in the energy market in the EA-SA-IO region. The above studies are expected to be fully completed before the end of the fourth Quarter of 2019 and the implementation of the recommendation of the studies to commence immediately after.

It is in this regard that COMESA seeks to hire consultancy services to implement the successful adoption and domestication of the three outcomes from the above studies and develop and implement additional regional regulatory and technical tools/programmes under the EU project on Enhancement of a Sustainable Regional Energy Market in Eastern Africa, Southern Africa, and Indian Ocean (EA-SA-IO) Region for which this Request for Proposals (RFP) is issued.

COMESA now invites Service Providers/ Consulting Firms to provide Technical and Financial Proposals to achieve the following key focus areas:

  • design, develop and/or enhance harmonised regional energy market rules such as harmonised transmission pricing, interconnection and marketing codes and provide technical support to review/develop regional MOUs and Agreements to operationalize the Zambia-Tanzania-Kenya (ZTK) cross-boundary power trade and recommend, where necessary, appropriate modifications to align to international best practice regarding integrated regional power market and the appropriate required regulatory oversight of such regional markets
  • provide technical support to at least four (4) countries for the establishment of autonomous energy regulators in Member States currently without regulators in the EA-SA-IO regions and design and implement programs to support at least fourteen (14) countries review and amend their national legislations/regulations to align to the adopted harmonized regional regulatory framework;
  • implement recommended activities for the transformation of RERA into a Regional Regulator for SADC;
  • design and develop a Renewable Energy System (RES) procurement and pricing incentive models for the region and provide technical support to at least four (4) Member States in the enactment of Policy/Legislation for the implementation of the model;
  • provide technical support for the enactment of Policy/Legislation for Common Minimum Energy Performance Standards in at least 14 Member States in the Region;

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