The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in collaboration with the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and the European Union (EU) and have launched the regional programme on “Improving the Energy Governance in West Africa (AGoSE-AO) ” on 22nd May, 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria.
The energy governance programme in West Africa should allow the region to meet all the challenges which hamper universal access to energy and a sustainable energy mix in West Africa. It aims to consolidate the foundations to enable West African States to achieve the three objectives of the UN initiative “Sustainable Energy for All” or SEforALL for 2030: ensure universal access to modern energy services, doubling energy efficiency and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
The ECOWAS Commissioner for Energy and Mines, Mr. Sédiko Douka emphasized in his remarks during the launch of the programme, that accessibility to electricity is one of the key challenge in the region. The Commissioner indicated that only 35 percent of the population in West Africa have access to electricity which includes 10 percent in rural areas. “Without access to a reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity, it will be impossible to reduce poverty and have prosperity in the region”, he said. He also pointed the need to develop the energy mix in the region by increasing the renewable energy production capacity considering the huge potential that abounds in ECOWAS Member states.
"It is for this reason that the ECOWAS Commission through its Directorate of Energy and its specialised energy sector agencies, ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP) and the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA) are committed to develop the regional energy sector by delivering modern, reliable, sustainable and clean energy to ECOWAS Member States"
The energy governance programme will also harmonise national, legislative and regulatory frameworks in order to promote investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency and universal access to modern energy. Furthermore, it will develop the regional electricity market and build the capacity of key stakeholders in the sector so that they can effectively fulfil their roles. Also speaking at the launch of the programme, the WAEMU Commissioner for Energy, Madam Fily Bouare Sissoko reiterated the need for energy diversification and the involvement of the private sector in order to meet the needs of the population especially those living in rural areas. The Deputy Head of the European Union delegation to ECOWAS, Mr. Richard Young, in his remarks highlighted the need for clean energy and the reduction of CO2 emission in the region to prevent global warming. “Improving the energy sector governance in West Africa” is part of the energy component of the 11th European Development Fund for West Africa. The programme is funded by EU to the tune of 32 million Euros.
This press release can also be found on ECOWAS's website