THE Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has said high energy cost is slowing down growth in the manufacturing sectors in the region.
This has been worsened by unreliable supplies, resulting in huge losses in the manufacturing industry and other productive sectors.
Acting secretary general Nagla El-Hussainy said inadequate energy infrastructure in many African countries remains one of the major constraints to economic growth and development.
For example, the total installed capacity for electric power in the 19 COMESA countries is about 55,800 megawatts compared with USA (United States of America) which is more than 1,000,000 megawatts and 124,000 megawatts for France.
Ms El-Hussainy said the role of the Regional Association of Energy Regulators for Eastern and Southern Africa (RAERESA) was critical to facilitate the trade in energy services in the region through creating an enabling environment for investment in generation and transmission.
“It is also envisaged that RAERESA can facilitate the harmonisation of energy rules and promote good governance to brand energy sector in the Comesa region,” she said.
Speaking at the fifth annual general meeting in Lusaka yesterday, Ms El-Hussainy said RAERESA should focus on capacity building of energy regulators, facilitation of information sharing among the regulators and regional cooperation and beyond.