African Legal Support Facility and partners launch French version of handbook on Power Purchase Agreements

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The African Legal Support Facility (ALSF) and partners launched the French version of the handbook “Understanding Power Purchase Agreements” (PPA) in Paris, France, on December 8, 2015. 

The handbook has been published through a joint partnership with the ALSF and US Department of Commerce’s Commercial Law Development Programme (CLDP) as part of the Power Africa initiative. The handbook is intended to simplify legal terms of PPAs in order to help reduce the time required to negotiate sustainable and bankable projects.

The Minister of Energy, Oil and Mining in Benin, Spero Mensah, said that the handbook was used during recent negotiations with an investor. The Minister commended the African Legal Support Facility (ALSF) for its multipronged approach that is supporting African governments in concluding transformative projects that can potentially contribute to catalyzing change on the continent.

The Minister thanked the ALSF for providing legal counsel that facilitated the negotiation of two Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) that will produce 150 MW in Benin. 

Commenting on the reasons for developing the handbook, ALSF Director Stephen Karangizi stated, “We hope that this handbook will facilitate discussions between government authorities, private sponsors and lenders, giving everyone a common language and understanding to help reduce the time required to negotiate sustainable and bankable PPAs.” 

He stressed that the ALSF is committed to providing African governments with the appropriate technical support in order to close the energy deficit on the continent.

USAID’s Coordinator for Power Africa, Andrew M. Herscowitz, also commended the ALSF for its ability to respond rapidly with the right support needed by African governments undertaking negotiations, citing the support to Benin as an example. 

The ALSF is an organization dedicated to providing legal advice and technical assistance to African countries. To that end, the African Legal Support Facility’s long-term goal is to ensure that African governments have the legal capacity to negotiate and conclude equitable and sustainable agreements that deliver maximum economic value to African countries and protect their sovereign rights.

To date, the ALSF in partnership with a number of African governments is implementing 52 projects in 35 of the African Development Bank’s regional member countries. The projects are in the areas of negotiations of agreements in infrastructure developments, including the energy sector, extractives sector, investment agreements and related commercial and business transactions, as well as debt management and litigation.