The Africa Energy Portal (AEP), recently unveiled by the African Development Bank (AfDB), is expected to address a lack of information in the sector, by providing a one-stop-shop for accurate, reliable, relevant, and up-to-date information on energy in Africa.
This would include statistics on investment flows and deals, as well as the socio-economic outcomes of power projects.
“Many international and local stakeholders have experienced the data access and reliability challenges that hold back substantive participation in the numerous opportunities within Africa’s energy sector,” said Amadou Hott, vice president of power, energy, climate change and green growth at the AfDB.
“The AEP is strategically positioned to resolve these challenges, by providing stakeholders with the requisite information to facilitate decision making, and fast-track investments and initiatives that will revolutionise Africa’s energy sector,” Hott added.
In addition to being an information repository, the AEP would also provide an interactive platform for knowledge-sharing amongst Africa’s energy sector stakeholders and experts.
It would serve as a virtual space for engagement, and progressive dialogue on pertinent issues affecting the development of the continent’s energy and power infrastructure.
Speaking during the launch, Wale Shonibare, director of energy financial solutions, policy and regulation at the bank lauded the AEP as a long-overdue, but necessary, step in “providing critical information for investment decisions, policy making, and regulatory action in Africa’s energy sector.”
Reinforcing the need for partnerships, Shonibare welcomed collaboration from external stakeholders.
“We are aware that the portal’s success will depend on extensive collaboration, and we invite professionals, developers, investors, regulators, governments, financial institutions, statisticians, utility companies, think tanks, philanthropic institutions and other stakeholders to work with us in creating a robust and formidable platform for the continent,” he said.
Also attending the launch, Uganda’s minister for energy and minerals, Irene Muloni, praised the initiative as one that would enable countries to make better, and informed policy decisions.
The AEP would leverage the bank’s energy sector and statistical expertise in order to consolidate and generate verified data and statistics on Africa’s energy sector.
The bank also aims to collaborate with regional organisations, and in-country statistics agencies to develop data collection and validation procedures to improve the quality of publicly available information on the continent’s energy sector.