The 13th Meeting of Comesa Ministers of Transport, Communications, Information Technology, and Energy has endorsed the development of a model solar standards, marking an important milestone in the region’s renewable energy sector.

The endorsement of Model Solar Standards and the revised Model Energy Policy signifies a concerted effort to advance sustainable energy practices and promote renewable energy sources, underscoring the region’s dedication to a greener future.

The meeting, held in Kigali, Rwanda, aimed to assess the progress made in implementing Council Decisions on infrastructure projects across various sectors, including transport, ICT, and energy.

These standards are expected to provide a framework for the adoption and promotion of solar energy solutions across member states, potentially revolutionising the region’s energy landscape.

The Model Energy Policy, which was also reviewed and endorsed during the meeting, will serve as a guiding document to facilitate the adoption of sustainable energy practices throughout the Comesa region.

“Ministers commended the efforts to create a Model Common Customs Tariff Framework for solar products, which is expected to further streamline the solar energy sector within Comesa,” said the regional bloc.

The ministers acknowledged the critical role played by financial and technical support from entities such as the European Union, the African Development Bank, and the World Bank’s Regional Infrastructure Finance Facility (RIFF) in advancing infrastructure projects.

In addition to the energy-related developments, ministers expressed their support for various initiatives, including the Comesa Digital Free Trade Area (DFTA).

This initiative is set to leverage technology to enhance intra-regional trade and accelerate regional integration, ultimately benefiting the citizens in the region.

Comesa Secretary General Chileshe Kapwepwe. Photo (courtesy).
Comesa Secretary General Chileshe Kapwepwe. Photo (courtesy).

The ministers also recognised the strides made in improving access to and reducing the cost of ICT services through open access frameworks on fiber networks and humanised regional roaming and interconnection frameworks.

Furthermore, they welcomed the construction of power interconnectors to enhance regional power trading.

Addressing the issue of cybersecurity, ministers stressed the need to explore funding options for cybersecurity awareness and capacity building to safeguard critical digital infrastructure.

On the transportation front, ministers called upon member states to harmonise and domesticate regional transport policies and to adopt the Economic Regulations and Consumer Protection Guidelines developed by the African Union Commission in cooperation with the African Civil Aviation Commission.

These regulations will be applicable under the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) project, a significant step toward liberalising air transport within the region.

The 13th meeting of Comes Ministers reaffirmed the commitment of member states to address infrastructure deficits and support economic growth and development across the region.