Overview of Central and West Africa

Orrick lawyers Pascal Agboyibor, Bruno Gay and Gabin Gabas authored the first "Overview of Central and West Africa," an outline of the electricity and oil & gas sector legislation in 14 francophone African countries, that has been published in the 3rd edition of The Energy Regulation and Markets Review.

Excerpt from the Introduction to the Chapter:

Electricity sector -

As an overview, the electricity sector in each of the states has the following characteristics:

a the supply of electricity is among the weakest in the world, even compared with other states of the same income bracket;

b the cost of electricity is among the highest in the world as a result of the preponderance of thermal energy dependent on the price of oil;

c there is a precarious financial situation among public operators of electricity, who cannot pass on the increased costs of production to consumers;

d the power infrastructure is in a state of disrepair, which leads to significant energy losses; and

e growing demand colliding with a persistent shortfall in production and poor quality of services is causing chronic power cuts and slowing industrial development.

The current amount of investment only represents a small fraction of the sum needed to fill the gap between supply and demand. The use of private investment appears today to be the only way to significantly improve the performance of the electricity sector. Resources in the region (hydraulic, gas, solar, wind) remain largely underutilised and the question of their recovery is central.

In parallel with production capacity, the development of national transport networks and their interconnection is a key factor for both industrial (mining industry in particular) and remote rural community development.

African regional organisations have created a forum in which states agree to coordinate their national energy policies. Among the instruments of this coordination, the most relevant in the context of this study are...

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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