EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY ADOPTS ENERGY SECURITY AGENDA

ARUSHA, TANZANIA, The six-nation East African Community (EAC) has adopted an Energy Security Policy Framework seeking to ensure the security of the sub-region's biomass, electricity, and oil and gas supplies.

According to EAC energy experts Elsam Byempaka Turyahabwe, partner States are implementing a number of energy projects to address the low access to modern energy services in the sub-region, but energy security remains a major challenge in the EAC and globally.

This EAC Energy Security Framework aims to provide regional guidance to Partner States in the management and mitigation of the challenge he said. We also anticipate that greater effort will be made at pursuing regional solutions to parts of the security of supply challenges in the biomass, electricity and oil and gas sub-sectors.

An energy economist at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Yohannes Hailu, confirmed that this framework would address pertinent energy security issues still prevailing in the EAC region, if implemented by all the partner States -- Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

Deforestation, rising wood and charcoal prices, devoting large share of our national budget towards the importation of oil and gas, electricity affordability and reliability, among others, are all signals that we needed to look at energy security and come up with a framework that enables us to address and prevent the security challenges, Hailu said.

The Sectorial Council on Energy of the EAC adopted this framework early this month in Arusha, after being signed by the six-member states, according to information from the UNECA Office for Eastern Africa.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK