Renewable energy in Africa

Yet wind turbines are a rare sight in Africa, a continent with enormous energy needs and significant wind potential.

About the African Energy Commission

The African Energy Commission (AFREC) is a specialised energy agency of African Union with a mandate articulated in the AFREC convention. AFREC mandate was established by African Heads of States and Governments in 2001, with broad objectives to lead the development of energy policies and programmes, create and continuously update the African Energy Statistics, mobilise technical and financial support for Member States and implement capacity building programmes.


  • Map out energy development policies, strategies and plans based on sub-regional, regional and continental development priorities and recommend their implementation.
  • Design, create and update an energy continental data base and facilitate rapid dissemination of information and exchange of information among Member States, as well as among the Regional Economic Communities (RECs).
  • Advise and encourage the development of human resources in the energy sector in particular, through training.
  • Mobilize financial resources to provide to Member States and the Regional Economic Communities with all the necessary assistance for the development of their energy sectors.
  • Encourage research and development in the energy sector.
  • Develop trade and transit of energy goods and services among Member States, particularly through the identification and removal of barriers.
  • Provide technical assistance to Member States, Regional Economic Communities and other stake holders in the African energy sectors.
  • Recommend the use of harmonised standards and procedures in the energy sector.
  • Establish the necessary mechanisms for the exploitation and utilisation of energy resources of the continent in an optimal manner with the aim of complementarity.
  • Undertake the harmonisation and rationalisation of energy development and utilisation programmes.
  • Promote among Member States the identification and the adoption and implementation of effective measures to prevent environmental pollution particularly in the exploitation, transportation, storage, distribution, and utilization of the continent’s energy resources the control of the system and mechanism for the pricing and trading of energy.
  • Work towards the realization of added value to energy resources in Member States.
  • Assist in the development and utilization of new and renewable sources of energy.
  • Provide assistance for feasibility study on energy projects and its adverse impact on the environment.
  • Perform any other activity that may be necessary for realisation of the above objectives.


In dealing with fundamental energy issues, AFREC mandate is implemented through Six (6) main broad programmes/ thematic areas which forms part of its new strategy, namely:
a) The Energy Information System (AEIS)
b) Energy Efficiency
c) Bioenergy
d) Oil and Gas
d) Energy Transition


African Energy Commission (AFREC) was created by Decision AHG/Dec.167 (XXXVII) of the 37th Summit of the OAU African Heads of States and Governments held in Lusaka, Zambia, on 11 July 2001, and officially launched by the African Union Ministers in charge of Energy in the meeting held on 15 – 17 February 2008 in Algiers, Algeria through the Algiers Declaration AU/EXP/EN/Decl (III). The Executive Council of the African Union in its Thirteenth Ordinary Council held on 24 – 28 June in Sharm El sheikh, Egypt endorsed the Algiers Declaration on the official launching of AFREC ( Decision EX.CL/Dec.432 (XIII)). Up to date, forty six Member states have signed the Convention, thirty five (35) of which have ratified and deposited it, while the ratification of the remaining Member states is still in progress.

Governance Structure

To ensure effective implementation of its mandate, AFREC is governed by a formal structure as articulated in the AFREC founding convention. The governing structure consist of the Conference of Ministers which is now represented by a specialised technical Committee (STC) on Transport, Transcontinental and interregional Infrastructure, Energy and Tourism (STC-TTIIET), the Executive Board, the Secretariat and the Technical Advisory Body.

Conference of Ministers

The Conference is the highest authority of the Commission. Currently, its role is fulfilled by a specialised technical Committee (STC) on Transport, Transcontinental and interregional Infrastructure, Energy and Tourism (STC-TTIIET), comprised of African ministers responsible of energy, transport, Transcontinental and interregional Infrastructure who meet in an ordinary session once every two (2) years . The main function of Conference of Ministers is to discuss general policy, approve work programmes and evaluate AFREC’S work implementation.

The Executive Board

AFREC Executive Board is comprised of fifteen (15) senior energy experts representing Member States, regional economic community (RECs) and representatives of Pan African Institutions elected by the Conference of Ministers. Appointments are based on regional representation and serve for a period of two years. The Executive Board shall hold one ordinary meeting every year at the Headquarters of the Commission or in any Member State upon the recommendation of the Board. The Executive Director of AFREC serve as the Secretary of the Board. The Board reports to the Conference. Amongst others, the Board’s functions are to prepare and submit provisional work programmes, studies, projects, periodic report on the activities and the Commission’s annual budget for consideration by the Conference.

Technical Advisory Body

AFREC Technical Advisory Body is consultative forum which provide advisory and technical assistance to AFREC on energy policies, programmes, projects and related activities. Technical Advisory Body comprise of representatives of Pan African and selected International Institutions.

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