Members of EXCO, Executive Secretary, guests from the AFDB (Eng. Edward Kihara and Eng. Solomon Sarpong), EAC representative-Eng. Elsam Turyahabwe, Portfolio committee members, Secretariat bureau, ladies and gentlemen.
<!- wp:paragraph ->I am delighted to welcome you to the 20th EXCO session.
I extend an especially warm welcome to our new EXCO members; Mrs. Bihindi-DG_ZURA(Zanzibar) and Mr. Daniel Kiptoo-Acting DG_EPRA(Kenya). Similarly, I would like to welcome Mr Sangweni-DG_PURA(Tanzania) for joining us and assure him that we shall henceforth be incorporating PURA in the activities of EREA.
Beginning of July 2020, we laid down plans and discussions around three critical overarching objectives defining EREA. The goals include achieving sustainable capacity building, harmonising energy policies and regulatory frameworks, and sharing information through a robust energy hub. On the basis of these objectives, I should like this afternoon to emphasise EXCO, and the Secretariat has been particularly active to ensure that the action plans are carried out concomitantly. Our task now is to forge ahead with regional integration while considering the principle of variable geometry.
Perhaps the most significant achievement in the region can be inferred from the results of a study by the AFDB on Electricity Regulatory Index (ERI) 2020 in which EREA members countries are advancing the development of regulatory structures. We are proud that Uganda has topped again in Africa, and the other members have attained an impressive index. For example, this is how we performed in the ERI:
Dear EXCO, our performance speaks for itself. I also urge the Economic Portfolio committee to consider carrying a Petroleum Regulatory Index using the AFDB’s methodology.
I note the Secretariat’s double efforts to establish the Centre of Excellence that will enhance sustainable capacity building not only for the EAC but also for the continent at large. This is our dream project, and its establishment will significantly impact EAC, support the operationalisation of the IRB and drastically reduce the cost of capacity building.
EREA is now one of the most active regional regulators in Africa. We are increasing our focus through; robust monitoring systems, building stronger collaborations, improving professional expertise and enhanced accountability.
Since the establishment of EREA, at least 40 tools and energy frameworks have been developed. They are in the process of being implemented. The monitoring of which is spearheaded by the Secretariat with support of the Country Liaison officers.
Working together is a challenge for us all and a responsibility for our region: economic opportunity, human well-being, and a robust EAC Energy Union.
To achieve it, we have to work together.