The African Energy Commission (AFREC) in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB) hosted its first virtual dialogue during the Africa Energy Forum (AEF) to introduce the African Energy Information System and Database (AEIS) which is currently going through a revamp.
The AEIS is a continental energy information system designed by AFREC to host and process energy datasets of all available energy sources, which are produced, supplied, consumed, imported and exported by all 55 African Union Member States. The database which is the most comprehensive energy information system offers authentic and reliable energy datasets to all African countries, including individual stakeholders, investors, researchers, international organization and academia.
As part of its mandate, AFREC currently processes all data collected from the African Member states through appointed National Focal Points in order to disseminate them to the African Member States and other stakeholders. This is in view to facilitate the improvement of the energy sector at national, regional and continental levels. These datasets are also key to energy policy makers, to inform their decisions necessary for formulating energy policies, whilst assisting in the design of sustainable energy programmes.
In her opening address, H.E Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union Commission (AUC) welcomed participants, highlighting the need for universal access to energy which is key to economic drive, growth and to create opportunities for everyone. She said, with Africa’s energy potential, wide resources and endless possibilities, it is unacceptable that almost 600 million people have no access to electricity, and even over 870 million have no access to clean cooking.
Therefore, there is need for the continent to optimize our approaches to address the energy poverty and bridge energy gap, provide accessibility to energy and produce for the benefit of all Africans.
‘‘Embracing digitalization in all sectors, including for energy can help jump start development in energy. Energy is a pre-requisite to digitalization. Thus, to formulate effective policies, approaches and programmes, and make informed decisions, we need reliable data for timely monitoring of energy production and consumption to help keep track of the development in Africa’’, said H.E Dr. Amani Abou Zeid.
She commended AFREC and Partners for embarking on the development of the AEIS, adding that a digital decentralized continental system will help boost data analyzing and sharing, while at the same time ensuring that energy programmes are effective and actions are impactful as a result of robust credible database.
Mr. Kevin Kariuki, Vice President of Power, Energy, Climate & Green growth at AfDB emphasized that the development of Africa’s energy sector must derive from the right policies and investment decisions, informed by reliable and credible data. He also pointed out that the AEIS will contribute significantly to the Bank’s energy development agenda of “Light Up and Power Africa”, which is being implemented through the New Deal on Energy for Africa strategy. “This new Information System will help rationalize and speed-up the data collection and validation process”, he said.
‘‘Continuous improvement of data collection and processing is required. Therefore, AFREC together with member states is committed to enhance data coordination at regional and national level through the implementation of this system whilst strengthening National Information systems,’’ said Rashid Ali Abdallah, AFREC Executive Director.
Mr. Abdallah also reiterated AFREC’s commitment, to strengthen collaboration and partnership among stakeholders around the sector, especially in areas of investment, research, and best practices.
The modernization and improvement of AEIS which is currently conducted by AFREC with support from AFDB will ensure that AEIS is in full alignment with international standards and best practices.
The meeting gathered speakers from the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), The World Bank, International Energy Agency (IEA), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD).Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union (AU).
Building a harmonized and centralized Energy database through the African Energy Information System and Database (AEIS)