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Energy Advisor - West Africa Power Pool

Job Reference tbigc/TP/53380/701 #LI-NM1

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Contract Type:
Fixed Term/Full Time
Contract Details:
Working Hours:
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Seniority level:
Mid-Senior level
Company Industry:
Non-Profit Organization Management
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Focus of the Role

Since 2017, TBI has been working on the regional energy markets in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA). Notable among the works of TBI is the West Africa Trade Outlook produced in 2019. In this report, an analysis of the market conditions at which ECOWAS countries could benefit from power trade was done. This study highlighted those 14 countries could enjoy from $32 bn of trading benefits during the following decade, if energy could be freely exchanged among themselves. At the same time, regional integration would also bring an environmental dividend: 23 million tonnes of CO2 by 2030 compared with a Business As Usual scenario. This would be an important achievement (it is equal to the annual emissions of the entire diesel vehicle fleet of the United Kingdom) in an international context that applies more and more pressure on Governments to limit their carbon emission.

Job Introduction

For these reasons, in West Africa TBI increased its commitment to accelerate the needed market integration across the five dimensions of market readiness: institutional, regulatory, operational, commercial and infrastructural. Within this framework, TBI started a partnership in 2020 with ERERA (West Africa regional regulator), the regional regulator, to address the issue of regulatory barriers to trade and a reform of the transmission tariff methodology. In parallel, TBI was appointed transaction advisor for the OMVG deal (between Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, The Gambia and Senegal), where it’s supporting the OMVG secretariat brokering a win-win deal among countries. Finally, TBI has joint forces with the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP) to complete the  market architecture and advance other key regional transactions.

This regional footprint and the experience of TBI in brokering transactions among Governments, makes the institute uniquely positioned to help regional institutions accelerate the implementation of the regional power pool. This work will also contribute to the Sahel’s integration into the WAPP, via Niger, that will be in turn connected with the other Sahel countries thought the trans-Sahelian backbone. For these reasons, TBI is now looking for an energy consultant with a sound technical and financial experience that can lead its engagement with regional institutions in West Africa.

Key Responsibilities

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­TBI support will be provided directly to WAPP by the West Africa consultant. The following workstreams are proposed:

  • Definition of a feasible market design for ancillary services to ensure the delivery of regional market

WAPP is currently approving the WAPP Grid Code which requires generators to provide primary and secondary reserves, based on the technical characteristics of each power system.  As regional trade is rapidly expanding and the network is becoming meshed, there is the necessity to develop a cross-country ancillary services market, that will ensure the effective implementation of trade, optimize costs and reduce even further the risk of blackouts.

This workstream will also exploit the synergies with the current support that TBI is providing to the regional regulator ERERA: TBI will in fact assist WAPP in developing the principles of a regional ancillary services market that could complement the national provisions of ancillary services and eventually ensuring that trade physically happens. The preliminary activity that TBI will carry out will be a benchmark analysis of the provisions of cross-border ancillary services in other markets and would then ensure the political buy-in with key national governments and Utilities.

  • Supporting the competitive procurement for digital solutions to enact power trade

TBI will work with WAPP to develop two digital solutions that are necessary to enact cross-country trade. In particular:

  • One to allocate the Physical Transmission Rights (PTR). TBI will support WAPP in all the steps of the procurement of a digital solution to update the existing Energy Trading System to include the PTR allocation. This can also include a preliminary design of the procedures for an auction-based allocation mechanism and its digital architecture.
  • One for payment settlements. TBI will assist WAPP in setting out the procedures and the design of the digital architecture that will allow the secure and timely application of the financial settlement procedures. TBI will then accompany the Market Division Experts on the adoption and implementation of these procedures.
  • Transaction advisory in the Sahel

Upon request of the WAPP and in collaboration with ERERA, the national Utilities, the Governments, and their Development Partners, TBI will assist in the definition of the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and the Transmission Service Agreement (TSA) to accelerate the integration of the Sahel within the wider WAPP system and ensure compliance of these agreements with the regional regulation. This could involve for example the North Core project.

Person Specification


  • Extensive experience in a TSO, Utility, Regulator or consultancy on a technical role
  • Engineering and/or economics background

Competencies and skills:

This is a hybrid role (from remote and on business trips) that will require an extremely proactive and independent attitude.  We are looking for enthusiastic and resilient individuals with a “can-do” outlook and the ability to consistently achieve results in a fast-paced environment. We are looking for an experienced leader with:

  • Significant technical knowledge of power systems, with particular reference to market design, transmission networks and dispatching
  • Clear understanding of power pool, ancillary services market and spot market functioning
  • Solid knowledge of Energy Trading System and procedures for their implementation
  • Ability to critically review a grid or market code and operational manuals
  • Demonstrable expertise in setting out procedures and design of digital architecture for financial settlement procedures
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving capabilities
  • Excellent communication and influencing skills at executive office level through to technical level. Adept at speaking to senior leadership, knows how to navigate ambiguous environments and comfortable at managing up and beyond hierarchy
  • Mastering of MS Office applications (Excel, Power Point and Word)
  • Fluency in English is required, French is a plus
  • Postgraduate degree preferred

We welcome applicants who have an existing right to work in our office hub in Accra, Ghana, or be based remotely.

About The Institute

The Tony Blair Institute (TBI) is a mission-driven not for profit organisation. We exist to equip political leaders and governments to build open, inclusive and prosperous societies. We work hard, every day, to make a difference. When governments work well they are able to create economic and social change in a way that promotes fairness, social justice and opportunity. We work relentlessly to support leader and governments with the challenges they face. Giving them practical solutions and actionable insights, that once implemented, can be transformative for their people  

We do this within two connected divisions: 

 Government Advisory 

Our Government Advisory teams work directly with political leaders and governments around the world to implement reforms that improve the lives of their citizens. It works with a variety of partners and its outputs cover a range of disciplines and projects across countries in Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and South Asia.

 Policy Futures 

Our Policy Futures work encompasses three broad areas: 

  • Renewing the Centre: developing a bold and innovative domestic policy programme to help renew the centre ground of British politics; 
  • Tech and Public Policy: exploring the policy challenges and opportunities presented by the technological revolution; and 
  • Extremism Policy Unit: creating solutions designed to tackle the threat of extremist ideologies in the UK and around the world. 

As an organisation, the core beliefs we all embrace are: 

  • Open and Progressive: you’ll believe in the value of teamwork 
  • Bold and Pragmatic: you’ll approach everything you do with integrity and authenticity 
  • Optimistic Changemaker: you’ll be focused on results 

TBI believes embracing diversity and inclusion make us a better place to work.  It’s our goal to reflect everyone in society and we actively welcome applications from individuals and groups who are under-represented in the workplace. We celebrate difference be it ethnicity, religion, age, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation or disability. We will only ever assess you on your abilities and fit for a role. We’re happy to discuss any adjustments you need to ensure a level playing field during recruitment and, if you\'re successful, discuss any adjustments you might need to thrive in your role.