APRIL 2018

Strong institutions support our democracies

The energy sector in Latin America and the Caribbean is no stranger to the need for a solid institutional framework, transparency and legal certainty. I am talking about an institutional framework that supports long-term sectoral planning, that defines a vision for each country of its development model in which energy is a constituent and fundamental part; and that it also ensures transparency in its actions in search of allowing our economic development and the well-being of our society.

Our regional reality shows us that we must necessarily promote the maturation and modernization of our institutions to block any possibility of anchoring corruption processes that result in a clear and emphatic destruction of value. We must be fully aware that the lack of transparency, legal-institutional weaknesses and control gaps not only have an effect on the overpricing of infrastructure works, the proliferation of directed contracts or the illicit enrichment of public officials, but that the destruction of value penetrates the length and breadth of the entire institutional system and thus reduces investment. Basic technical capabilities are lost, the cost of public debt is increased, and finally our democracies are weakened and eroded. None of our countries is immune to these problems, while we must be clear that it is not a virus exclusive to our region. The desired transparency and solid institutionality are basic intangible assets for the ordering and growth of our society.

We recently closed our Energy Planning and Integration Training Program for LAC, with the participation of more than 30 officials from the energy sector of our Member Countries. A program that we proudly carry out within the framework of the Regional Energy Agenda that we share with ARPEL, CAF, CIER, ECLAC, OAS, WEC and ALADI. In this way, I understand that at Olade, we contribute to strengthening the capacities of the sector in our region, training sensitive professionals committed to a Latin America and the Caribbean that needs strong, effective, transparent and efficient institutions.

We have also started an agreement with the Pontifical Catholic University (PUC) of Chile to constitute the Latin American Program of Energy Policies, conceived as a space for training, reflection and debate on public policies for the energy sector, through the support of joint training of professionals specialized in Renewable Energies; Energy Access and Equity; Electricity and Energy Efficiency Markets; Transmission Network Planning, Design and Evaluation of Energy Policies; Energy Poverty, among other topics focused on promoting from the academy, the state of the art and practice among energy organizations in the Latin American region.

Thus, beyond these specific actions to strengthen the institutionality of our region, it is necessary to carry out high-level conceptual debates on a topic of deep validity, such as transparency at different levels, in order to find the necessary ways to allow strengthening of our institutionality, which ultimately translates into sustaining and strengthening our democracies.

Receive from Quito, Ecuador a cordial greeting.

Alfonso Blanco

OLADE’s Executive Secretary

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