Estimating Investment Needs for the Power Sector in the Africa Region
Africa’s power system suffers significantly from lack of infrastructure, hampering electrification efforts, industrial growth and poverty reduction in many countries. Taking a step in addressing this lack of infrastructure, the World Bank launched the Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic (AICD) programme in 2005 focusing on power as one of its core themes . In Phase I of the study, undertaken by the World Bank, the AICD collected data on performance, institutional and fiscal spending for 24 sub-Saharan African countries. The African Development Bank (AfDB) joined in the second phase of the study to cover the remaining countries and close the database country coverage gap. In subsequent years, the AfDB has been a major collaborator on this ambitious programme that was set up to assist African countries in benchmarking their infrastructure related performance and to formulate corresponding energy policies while helping donor countries design appropriate support instruments. The aim was to provide a baseline against which future improvements in infrastructure services could be measured, thereby making it possible to monitor results achieved from the increase in financial flows and sector performance.
Since the end of 2010, the AfDB has taken over the leadership in this area from the World Bank and has developed the Africa Infrastructure Knowledge Program (AIKP), based on the AICD methodology, as a framework for maintaining a database of infrastructure indicators. These indicators include power, water, ICT, road transport, rail transport, sea transport and air transport and are assessed for the African continent. Their responsibility also extends to generating knowledge on infrastructure on a long-term and sustainable basis.
With a focus on these responsibilities for the energy sector in particular, the approach undertaken in this project aims at updating previous assessments for selected countries while supporting the AICD view of providing a more inclusive energy dialogue. Instead of presenting one or several static sets of results, the approach invites an audience unfamiliar with modelling tools to engage in a simple form of scenario analysis. The results from numerous individual runs will subsequently be aggregated by the AfDB and made accessible through an interactive online tool for scenario description and assessment. It is expected that this will promote the understanding of basic energy system dynamics by helping the audience to perceive the influence of key parameters on energy access and hence on the evolution of energy demand and investment requirements.