The East African Community has adopted a policy that will enable countries to manage the security of their energy supplies. The EAC becomes the first bloc on the continent to have such a policy.
The Energy Security Policy Framework comes at a time new discoveries of oil and gas reserves have been made in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
Elsam Turyahabwe, an energy expert at the EAC Secretariat said the policy will guide countries as they implement projects to boost access to energy.
East African countries have been depending largely on imported refined petroleum.
Yohannes Hailu, an energy economist at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa said the energy framework will also address disruptions in the supply of imported energy, particularly hydrocarbons, and sharp swings in prices, which undermine the momentum of economic development taking place in East Africa.
“Actions are recommended to restore oil and gas supplies security in exploration and developmentce,” said Mr Hailu.
Projections show that the implementation of planned energy projects will see the region register a surplus. For example, an additional 5,000MW of power will give Kenya surplus capacity in the 2018-2020 period.
In Rwanda, generation expansion will see the country acquire better supply margins, which is narrow currently. Uganda is expected to have a similar experience as Kenya, with power surplus through 2030.
Tanzania’s power supply margin relative to demand is expected to hold in the 2016-18 period. However, the margin is expected to narrow in the 2018-2020 period.