Three Main Drivers of Electricity-Sector Reforms
Electricity-sector reforms started in the mid-1990s in the region, following the “second” global wave of electric reforms. Oman and Morocco led the way in the early 1990s, and they were followed by Abu Dhabi and the majority of other MENA countries. It is conventionally admitted that, in the region, oil prices are an important factor influencing economic reforms. This was probably true during the last two decades of the last century but not afterwards. The need to build consensus among decision-makers guided electricity reforms, particularly in gulf countries. In other countries where interests are concentrated but not mutualised (North Africa), a general suspicion towards anything related to the introduction of the private sector would hamper the process of reform or privatization. The productivity of most vertically integrated monopolies in the region is comparable to that of a western vertically-integrated monopoly. However, the limited financial capability of some could be problematic and would require sovereign guarantee.