ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
COMMON Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) member states have been urged to develop legal and regulatory frameworks for renewable energy projects to unlock the potential that exists in clean energy in the region.
In view of this, the Regional Association of Energy Regulators for Eastern and Southern Africa (RAERESA), which is a COMESA specialised institution, is conducting a regional sensitisation workshop to promote the harmonisation of renewable policy and regulatory guidelines among member states.
This is contained in a statement posted on COMESA website on Wednesday that the workshop slated for August 26 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, has drawn 45 participants from 15 member states.
The countries to be represented are Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Swaziland, Egypt, Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar and Comoros.
Others are Ethiopia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Sudan and Uganda.
In endorsing the guidelines, COMESA council of ministers engaged the secretariat to facilitate training programmes for member states for them to understand, internalise and domesticate the guidelines.
RAERESA chief executive officer Mohamedain Seif el Nasr said the training will assist member countries develop best practices supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Dr Seif el Nasr urged participants to take the training seriously as it provides an opportunity for them to share experiences and to learn from those who are doing better in renewable energies.
“Renewable energy has the potential to facilitate the improvement of quality of life for people in the COMESA region through providing energy security and access opportunities.
“The region has untapped renewable energy potential, therefore, has a golden opportunity to leapfrog into the front ranks of the race into the green economy era,” he said.