KEYNOTE 4: Keynote 4: Harmonization of Standards towards the Operation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) – AFSEC’s perspective

Bernard Modey, AFSEC President

Ing. Bernard Kofi Tawia Modey

President of the African Electrotechnical Standardization Commission (AFSEC)

Date: Wednesday 25th August, 2021

Speech and Q&A: 0630-0700 GMT(UTC)

Keynote Abstract

The launch of the AFCFTA in Accra in January 2021 signifies a giant step towards the promotion of trade that will not only generate employment opportunities for our citizenry but also indirectly improve their standard of living.

Lack of harmonized standards were identified very early among the Technical barriers to trade (TBT) and various entities linked to harmonization of standards, regulations and conformity assessment have been working to reduce these barriers. AFSEC has been working with other partner institutions like ARSO, AFRAC and AFRIMET to address these barriers.

AFSEC is concerned not only with goods but also with systems. We see harmonization of the specifications of our electrical systems through the various power pools (WAPP, EAPP, SAPP, NAPP) as central to unleashing the vast energy resources and potentials that will help drive the industrialization and development of the African continent.

It is in light of the above that AFSEC is delighted at every collaborative opportunity between it and similar institutions like IEEE that has gained a lot of popularity on the continent in recent times to work together to improve the socio-economic situation of our people


Ing. Bernard Kofi Tawia Modey worked for the Volta River Authority in Ghana for 15 years in both technical and managerial positions. He later joined the Ghana Grid Company as a Senior Manager and later became the first Director of the Southern Network Services Department. He also served briefly as the Director of Human Resources and Services before his appointment as Director System Operations.

He was a member of the Engineering and Operating Committee (EOC) and later the Strategic Planning and Environment Committee (SPEC) of the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP). He was the Chairman for Joint Committees (EOC/SPEC/FINANCE/HRG) meeting of the West African Power Pool (WAPP) in Grand Bassam in 2014.

In 2017 he joined ICF, a consulting firm as a Senior Power Sector Consultant under a USAID funded Integrated Resource and Resilience Planning (IRRP) project that developed an Integrated Power Sector Master Plan for Ghana.

He is currently the Senior Ghana Technical Lead for the USAID West Africa Energy Program, a Power Africa initiative.

He has spoken at a number of international events including Africa Utility Week 2016 and 2018, Broadband Infrastructure Symposium Africa (BISA), IEEE Power Africa Conference in Accra 2017 and EnergyNet’s Regional Energy Summit in Dakar, 2019.

He was elected as the President of the African Electrotechnical Standardization Commission in July 2019 in Cairo, Egypt.

He holds the following academic qualifications:

  • Sc. Electrical & Electronic Engineering degree from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Kumasi
  • Sc. Electrical Engineering degree from University of Saskatchewan, Canada
  • A. Economic Policy Management from University of Ghana Legon.
  • Diploma in French Language Studies – Alliance Francaise, Accra

He is a Fellow of the Ghana Institution of Engineering.