By Amin Kef-Ranger
Dr. Emmanuel Mannah, the Director-General of the Electricity and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC), has on the 20th November, 2023 shared exclusive insights during an interview at the EWRC headquarters on 55 Berwick Street, revealing a significant achievement for Sierra Leone in the African Development Bank’s (AFDB) 2022 Country Scores and Rankings.
Sierra Leone has been ranked 8th in the AFDB’s assessment, marking a remarkable rise in the Electricity Regulatory Index (ERI). Dr. Mannah highlighted the ERI as a composite index that evaluates the development level of electricity sector regulatory frameworks across African nations, aligning them with international standards and best practices. This index comprises three primary pillars crucial to evaluating regulatory performance.
Dr. Mannah pointed out the steady ascent of Sierra Leone in this index, showcasing the country’s progression over the years. Since assuming office, the nation has witnessed a notable climb: from 19th in 2019 to 8th in 2022. He emphasized the components of the Regulatory Governance Index (RGI) and the Regulatory Substance Index (RSI), essential in assessing the institutional design and actual regulatory outcomes within the electricity sector.
The Regulatory Outcome Index (ROI), as explained by Dr. Mannah, measures the regulator’s impact from the perspective of distribution utility companies and consumers. It gauges the effectiveness of regulatory decisions in yielding expected sector outcomes, utilizing survey responses from electricity distribution utilities and consumers.
The meticulous calculation of ERI scores involved comprehensive surveys distributed to regulatory institutions and utilities across 45 African countries. Dr. Mannah highlighted the extensive participation, with 44 regulatory agencies and utilities from 43 countries providing validated data, affirming the thoroughness of the assessment.
Furthermore, the ERIGS (ERI for Governance and Substance) was constructed using primary data obtained from questionnaires sent to regulators. This assessment, comprising RGI and RSI, evaluates the effectiveness of the regulatory environment in facilitating sector reforms and efficiency while aligning with national objectives.
Dr. Mannah concluded by emphasizing the significance of ERIGS in portraying national regulatory development and highlighted the assessment’s focus on understanding the impact of regulatory decisions on the performance of power utilities and the sector at large.
President Bio’s administration celebrates this achievement, viewing it as a testament to Sierra Leone’s commitment to enhancing its regulatory frameworks and fostering a conducive environment for electricity sector reforms.