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The Reform of the Power Sector in Africa


Stephen Karekezi, John Kimani and Ayago Wambile


The overall objective of this working paper is to provide a broad overview of power sector reform and highlight the drivers of reforms in Africa. In addition, the paper discusses the implementation process of power sector reforms in Africa. Though there is a wide spectrum of reform options implemented in the region, this paper focuses on 5 of the most common reform options which include; Unbundling (also referred to as restructuring); Management Contracts, Corporatization/Commercialization; Independent Power Producers; and Electricity Law Amendment.

The working paper provides an overview of power sector reform by describing its genesis, key characteristics, and pace of implementation in Africa. It points out that power sector reforms were primarily designed to bridge short term generation shortfalls and improve the financial health of state-owned power utilities.  

The paper is organized into two chapters with the first chapter providing the rationale and the status of power sector reform in Africa and the second chapter describing the 5 main reform options implemented in Africa.

The final section of the paper presents key overall conclusions about the principal characteristics and trends of power sector reforms in Africa.


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