The transition to a sustainable energy model in Africa – including universal access and climate change, as well as the growing presence of decentralized energy resources in the midst of a much-needed industrialisation process – requires new approaches to policy, regulation, technology, innovation and the skills to achieve this goal. Education in these matters is urgently needed to address these challenges in a wide range of fields across the electricity, clean cooking and heating value chains.
Regulation stands out as an applied field of knowledge – blending engineering, economics, and law – which is essential to guide the African countries in designing and implementing this transition.
The African School of Regulation (ASR) aims to be a centre of excellence for independent discussion and knowledge exchange with the purpose of improving the quality of African energy regulation and policy.
The path to create the ASR
The initiative to create the African School of Regulation (ASR) was formally launched in January 2022 via a scientific Knowledge Partnership Agreement among the European University Institute (EUI) via its Florence School of Regulation (FSR), the University of Cape Town (UCT), the Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences (PAUWES), the Enel Foundation (EF), the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), and the Energy Nexus Network (TENN). The Rockefeller Foundation (RF), the Global Alliance for the People and the Planet (GEAPP), and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) have joined later. The FSR was designated by the Parties of the Agreement to provide logistical support and coordination during the initial phase of creation of the ASR.
The creation of the ASR is endorsed and supported in different ways by many organisations including the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Africa EU Energy Partnership (AEEP), the Africa Europe Foundation (AEF), the African Forum for Utility Regulators (AFUR), the African Minigrids Developers Association (AMDA), the French Development Agency (AFD), Friends of Europe, the Global association for the off-grid solar energy industry (GOGLA), Power for All, RES4Africa, and Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All), the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Programs (ESMAP). The European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA) provides substantial support through the provision of technical assistance services.
A phased approach to establishing the ASR
The establishment of the African School of Regulation will be executed in two phases. Phase 1 will last no more than 24 months. During this Phase, the ASR Parties will identify potential African hosting institution(s), select the main host institution that will headquarters the ASR, as well the other academic institutions that may act as ASR satellites in their respective regions.
Phase 1 will transition to Phase 2 when: i) the African hosting institution(s) and a Director for the ASR will have been identified; ii) the governance of the ASR for Phase 2 will have been defined; iii) a programme of activities will have been proposed; and iv) there will be a viable financing plan for at least the first five years of operation after the end of Phase 1.
Phase 2 will last no more than 12 months, during which the management and operation of the ASR will be transferred to the identified African hosting institution(s).