Accelerating Regional Renewable Power Exports Through the AfCFTA
As many African countries begin to recognize the benefits of renewable power generation in expanding regional grid connections and accessibility, as well as increasing national power capacity, the ease of electricity trade is critical and made possible through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa estimates that the agreement will boost intra-African trade by 52% by 2022. In addition to easing trade restrictions among African nations and enhancing the competitiveness of the continent, the AfCFTA has created an opportunity for nations to address escalating electrification and associated power infrastructure challenges through regional value chain developments.
The AfCFTA comprises a free trade area created by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement among 54 of the 55 Africa Union nations. Founded in 2018 and formally commencing in January 2021 with the aim of establishing a single market across the African continent so as to expand economic integration and aid the movement of capital, goods, services, and people, the AfCFTA is considered the largest free trade area in the world and is expected to drive socioeconomic and industrial growth across the entire continent.
With numerous African countries aiming to reach universal access by 2030 – a goal estimated to require more than 100GW of generation capacity – and the facilitation of many large-scale renewable power generation developments in resource-rich countries, the value of regional power networks facilitated by the AfCFTA has been emphasized.
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