Utility Regulation in Africa: How Relevant is the British Model?

9 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2015

Date Written: 2014


This article considers whether African utility regulators can draw useful lessons from the British experience over the past thirty years. We focus on three features that are considered key properties of the British regulatory model: price-cap incentive regulation, independent regulatory agencies and an emphasis on introducing competition where possible. For each property, we ask how relevant the model is for most African countries. Overall, we argue that although the British model probably has some lessons which can help improve utility performance in Africa, the problems that they help to solve are generally second-order. Ultimately, institutional weaknesses are the main root of regulatory failure in many African countries, and these weaknesses call for a model of regulation designed specifically to address them.

Keywords: Incentive regulation, Africa, Electricity sector, Water sector

JEL Classification: L51, L94, L95, O55

Suggested Citation

Wren-Lewis, Liam, Utility Regulation in Africa: How Relevant is the British Model? (2014). Utilities Policy, Vol. 31, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2654310

Liam Wren-Lewis (Contact Author)

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014

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