AFREC was officially launched in February 17th, 2008, in Algiers, at the end of a conference of African Ministers in charge of Energy.
It is only in 1980 that African countries have actually realized the worrisome energy situation of the African continent. For the first time ever, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the OAU, meeting in Lagos (Nigeria) in April 1980, adopted a plan called the "Lagos Plan of Action (LPA)", in which the main energy problems undergone by Africa had been identified and actions to remedy such a situation had been proposed for the short, medium and long terms. To ensure the implementation of the LPA, the Assembly perceived the urgent need to set up a proper institutional framework and hence endorsed the recommendation relating to the urgent establishment of the African Energy Commission. The African Energy Commission is an African continental body in charge of ensuring, coordinating and harmonizing the:protection, conservation, development, rational exploitation, marketing and mainstreaming of energy resources on the African continent.