EAC Presidents; Uhuru Kenyatta, Yoweri Museveni, John Magufuli and Paul Kagame at a previous engagement
The East African Community (EAC) has adopted its Energy Security Policy Framework seeking to ensure the security of the region’s biomass, electricity, and oil and gas supplies.
According to energy expert at the EAC, Elsam Byempaka Turyahabwe, Partner States are implementing a number of energy projects to address the low access to modern energy services in the region, but that energy security is a major challenge in the EAC and globally.
“This EAC Energy Security Framework aims to provide regional guidance to Partner States in the management and mitigation of the challenge” he said adding that:
“We also anticipate that greater effort will be made at pursuing regional solutions to parts of the security of supply challenges in the biomass, electricity and oil and gas sub-sectors.”
Energy economist at the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Yohannes Hailu, confirmed that this framework would address pertinent energy security issues still prevailing in the EAC region, if implemented by all the Partner States.
“Deforestation, rising wood and charcoal prices, devoting large share of our national budget towards the importation of oil and gas, electricity affordability and reliability, among others, are all signals that we needed to look at energy security and come up with a framework that enables us to address and prevent the security challenges,” Hailu said.
The Sectorial Council on Energy of the EAC adopted this framework early this month in Arusha, after being signed by the six-member states namely Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and Tanzania, according to information availed by Office for Eastern Africa
Economic Commission for Africa.
ECA, through its office for Eastern Africa, collaborated with EAC in the development of the framework.
Hailu stated that East African countries have been depending nearly exclusively on imported refined petroleum and with new discoveries of oil and gas reserves in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, a regional framework on energy security management is timely.
“Disruption in the supply of imported energy, particularly hydrocarbons, and/or sharp swings in their price, would cause macroeconomic impacts that could undermine the momentum of economic development taking place in East Africa.”
Hailu explained that energy security is a component of economic stability because the lack of it hampers the proper functioning of socioeconomic systems and undermines economic activities, particularly in energy-intensive industries.
The EAC becomes the first regional economic community to adopt an Energy Security Policy Framework in Africa.