Building Africa’s Energy Data Powerhouse: Africa Energy Portal
Most of us are aware of the often-cited statistic that close to 600 million Africans lack access to electricity. It is a critical statistic, and one that underpins the African Development Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa which aims to light up and power Africa, through efforts to achieve accelerated universal energy access.
However, standing in the way of this ambitious undertaking, are the many information deficiencies on Africa’s energy space that hinder optimal participation in the sector. These include fragmented information on generation, transmission, distribution, and policy and regulation. As a result, stakeholders lack critical information and statistics on investment flows and deals, regulatory performance, socio-economic outcomes of power projects, and the vast opportunities on the continent, especially in renewable energy.
So how do we showcase the various needs in Africa’s energy? And how do we aggregate information on the continent’s energy sector in order to provide critical information for investment decisions, policy making, and regulatory action in Africa’s energy sector?
This is the backdrop against which we launched the Africa Energy portal in 2018: a one-stop-shop for accurate, reliable, relevant, and up-to-date information on Africa’s energy sector. Hosted by the African Development Bank, the portal is an interactive platform for knowledge-sharing amongst Africa’s energy sector stakeholders and experts. It serves as a virtual space for engagement, and progressive dialogue on pertinent issues in the development of the continent’s energy and power infrastructure. The AEP leverages the Bank’s energy sector and statistical expertise in order to consolidate and generate verified data and statistics on Africa’s energy sector. In addition, AEP acts as an aggregator of relevant energy data and information from different sources with the objective of being a one-stop-shop for data and information.
At the African Development Bank, we understand the universality of data challenges amongst stakeholders working to assure energy access for the continent. Indeed, even at this early stage, reaction to the portal has been very encouraging, we have received several requests for collaboration and contribution. Together with partners who include regional organizations, regulators, utilities, developers, in-country statistics agencies among others, we are working to collect, validate and present high quality, relevant and up-to-date data on Africa’s energy sector.
We welcome this interest, and extend an invitation for further collaboration to energy sector stakeholders who like us, share the urgency and commitment to power the continent.
We are aware that the portal’s success will depend on extensive teamwork, and we welcome 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 energy platform for the continent.
Welcome to AEP’s first newsletter, and we look forward to your continued engagement.
By: Wale Shonibare - Director, Energy Financial Solutions, Policy & Regulation, African Development Bank
Photo credit: Jaz Rabadia