The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat will conduct a virtual workshop aimed at training officials in the energy sector on how to prepare regional energy projects to financial closure.
The Training Workshop, to be conducted from 22-25 June 2021 and titled SADC Regional Energy Training and Capacity Development Programme on the Acceleration of Selected Energy Infrastructure Projects (RETCDPSEIP) for SADC Southern Africa Power Pool-Accelerating Regional Energy Programme (SADC SAPP-AREP), will be officially opened by the Director Responsible for Infrastructure at the SADC Secretariat, Ms. Mapolao Mokoena.
The workshop will be facilitated by the Kafue Gorge Regional Training Centre (KGRTC), a Zambian-based institution controlled by a regional Board of Trustees from Malawi, Eswatini, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It was established in 1989, with the support of Scandinavian donor funding, to provide competitive specialized training solutions in hydropower and related fields to electricity utilities in the SADC and Sub-Saharan regions.
The training workshop is a follow up to the technical workshop held on 27-28 April 2021 to validate the findings of a Report on Policy related critical Gaps, Risks and Challenges affecting development of regional energy infrastructure projects in the SADC Region.
The Gaps, Risks and Challenges identified and presented during the workshop in April fell under Member State Will/Erratic Commitment/Monitoring and Evaluation; Project Funding and Negotiation; Early Transaction advice; Capacity Development; and Ministry Engagement. Key outcomes of the workshop in April included agreement by SADC Member States to work together to address policy challenges affecting funding for regional energy infrastructure projects and to find innovative ways to unlock projects from a funding and compliance point.
The workshop adopted findings of the Report and outcomes of the meeting pointed to the SADC-SAPP AREP Technical Committee being mobilised as soon as possible, to accelerate projects and bridge gaps between project and policy level. The Technical Committee will also be used to accelerate regional energy projects identified to pilot Regional Transmission Infrastructure Financing Facility (RTIFF), with policy level interventions, to financial closure. The findings on Gaps, Risks and Challenges, together with proposed remedial actions, were adopted for implementation under the auspices of Technical Committee.
The delegates agreed that changes in priority of Member States with respect to domestic and regional interconnected projects could be addressed through intervention from SADC Secretariat at a Ministerial level.
SADC Member States were encouraged to find other sources of funding besides direct foreign investment and prepare their own projects because interests of Member States in some instances are not aligned with requirements of foreign investors.
Member States agreed to work together on, among other things, identifying new sources of development and project funding that needed to be secured to ensure longevity of the projects through their life cycle; and greater consideration to be given to Member States self-funding for feasibility studies in the event of ICPs and DFIs pulling out of projects.
The Member States appreciated the World Bank funded programme aimed at enhancing the capacity of SADC Secretariat on energy infrastructure programmes and projects through the Southern African Power Pool Programme (SAPP) for Accelerating Regional Energy/Transformational Projects (AREP).
It is against this background that the SADC Secretariat has specifically developed the customised SADC training programme on preparation of regional energy projects. The training sessions will be conducted quarterly as per SADC Secretariat financial year, all circumstances being equal.
Government officials working in areas of project preparation and/or implementation in the Ministries of Energy; Finance; Environment; and Utilities are expected to attend this capacity building training workshop.