UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE ASSET MANAGEMENT IN AFRICA THROUGH THE AFUR IAM CENTER OF EXCELLENCE
The Utility services industry is characterized by asset-intensive companies with huge sums invested in asset acquisition and installation. Ideally, one would expect that the preoccupation of all Utilities should be to optimize the economic and productive lives of their Assets. However, the evidence in most African countries does not support this assertion. Often the discipline of Asset Management has been assumed to be the sole responsibility of engineers; although even these do not always get the requisite budget allocation to support and maintain these aging assets.
Therefore, there is an urgent need to take a holistic approach to optimize these large investments. Infrastructure Asset Management (IAM) Best Practice recognizes Asset Management as an organizational-wide discipline, integrating leadership, planning, finance, engineering, operations, ICT, human resources, and auditing to achieve optimum service and value delivery. There is growing evidence globally indicating that Utilities that have adopted IAM best practices have improved their ability to operate safely with high levels of service reliability, meet strategic and business objectives, and realize significant cost savings over the assets’ life cycle. At AFUR, we have identified this necessity for African Utilities and are creating the Infrastructure Asset Management (IAM) Centre of Excellence (CoE) to bring this integrated discipline and approach to the forefront of Regulators and Utilities in Africa.