NTU International holds 3rd Steering Committee Meeting for the Technical Assistance to ECOWAS for the implementation of the 11th EDF Energy Governance in West Africa (AGoSE-AO)

21st of May, 2021

The meeting focused on the importance of the contribution of the AGoSE-AO programme to strengthen the energy sector in West Africa

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in collaboration with the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and the European Union (EU) held on the 23rd of April 20201, through videoconference, the third Steering Committee Meeting of the Programme: “Improving the Energy Sector Governance in West Africa” (AGoSE-AO). The meeting was attended by the representatives of the Steering Committee official member institutions, including: (i) the two regional authorizing officers (ECOWAS and WAEMU); (ii) the Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS; and (iii) the three ECOWAS specialized agencies in the energy sector (ECREEE, WAPP and ERERA), GIZ and LuxDev.

During the opening ceremony, Mrs. CécileTASSIN-PELZER, Head of Cooperation of the European Union Delegation to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and ECOWAS, recalled in her speech the importance of the contribution of the AGoSE-AO programme to the strengthening the energy sector in West Africa, expressing her satisfaction to see all concerned parties gathered at the meeting and hoped that the discussions would be productive. Mr. Lassane OUEDRAOGO, Director of Energy and Mines of WAEMU speaking on behalf of Mrs. Fily BOUARE SISSOKO, Commissioner, Department of Business Development, Mines, Energy and Digital Economy (DEMEN), WAEMU, expressed his sincere thanks to the ECOWAS Commission for the organization of this meeting and commended all the stakeholders of the implementation of the AGoSE-AO programme whose successful completion is decisive for the energy sector in West Africa. He reported that the implementation of the activities planned on the EIS-WAEMU component is proceeding well despite the new constraints induced by the COVID-19 global health crisis. Mr. Bayaornibè DABIRE, Director of Energy and Mines of the ECOWAS Commission speaking on behalf of Mr. Sédiko DOUKA, Commissioner in charge of Energy and Mines of the ECOWAS Commission, expressed his gratitude to the European Union Commission for the quality of its cooperation and its readiness to support ECOWAS in the implementation of its regional integration ambitions. He then recalled the energy challenges of the region and welcomed the establishment of the AGoSE-AO programme, whose results will complement the actions already undertaken by ECOWAS to resolve the challenges identified. He highlighted the importance of the said meeting for a better coordination of the activities of ECOWAS and the institutions involved and hoped that the deliberations would lead to clear orientations and suitable recommendations for the smooth implementation of the programme.

The agenda of the Steering Committee was focused on presenting the status of implementation of the activities under the programme:

  1. ECOWAS Department of Energy and Mines
    1. Presentation of the progress on Activity 5.1: Update of the Energy Policy, main points addressed during the validation workshop held for the activity on the 15th-16th of April and way forward.
    2. Presentation of the progress on Activity 5.2: Development of the Regional Electricity Code, main points addressed during the validation workshop held for the activity on the 20th-21st of April and way forward.
    3. Status of the ECOWAS Energy Information System (ECOWAS-EIS), established by a team of EIS Experts recruited by NTU, in coordination with the AGoSE-AO TA Team under the supervision of the Director of Energy and Mines, following the adoption of the Roadmap and its implementation. The 2017 Database and the Platform were validated during a regional workshop though videoconference that gathered the Member States, platform which will soon be accessible to the public.
    4. Presentation on the proposal of a study facility, progress on the Scholarship Programme etc.
  1. West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU): Mr. Yvon Polycarpe DOSSA, Head of the Conventional Energies Division of the WAEMU, shared significant progress in the implementation of the WAEMU EIS. Indeed, the STANTEC group, selected for the implementation of activities over a period of 24 months, (i) prepared an initial report and a first methodological note, (ii) prepared the survey questionnaires, (iii) developed the web application that will be used for the field survey, (iv) developed a web interface guidance note, (v) developed the web interface and (vi) developed a price indicator note. The main difficulties encountered during the implementation of its activities are the inaccessibility to survey databases, the limited budget which is not enough to carry out a sufficiently detailed survey and the global health crisis linked to COVID-19 which limited travels.
  1. West African Power Pool (WAPP) – Mr. Oluwafemi FAJEMIROKUN, ICC MIS Specialist provided a status of the implementation of the AGoSE programme at WAPP level for the following activities:
    1. Activity 1.3 relating to updating of the ECOWAS master plan for the development of regional power generation and transmission infrastructure
    2. Activity 3.1 Initial operationalization of the WAPP Information and Coordination Centre (ICC) – no significant progress due to the delay of the construction of the WAPP ICC building in Calavi.
    3. Activity 3.3 relating to the operation and management of the interconnected system and the unified electricity market.
    4. Activity 4.5 Strengthening of the Capacity of WAPP Stakeholders – also significantlhy impacted by COVID-9 pandemic.

  2. ECOWAS Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) - Ibrahim Soumaila, Head of the AGoSEREE-AO Component, presented the status of implementation of activities related to the governance of the renewable energy sector and energy efficiency in West Africa, specifically (i) the establishment of a regional institutional and regulatory framework of norms and standards for renewable energies (RE), with three (3) standards for PV mini-grids, two (2) standards for bioethanol (transportation and casing) and pre-established draft standards; (ii) the definition of renewable energy corridors, which led to the availability of three (3) corridor strategies relating to hydroelectricity, solar power and wind power.
  1. Center for Renewable Energy and Industrial Maintenance (CERMI) - Delgado, the Coordinator of the CERMI Regional Anchoring Project informed the Steering Committee that this component has been successfully implemented All activities including those related to training (about 1450 technicians from ECOWAS member states and Mauritania have been trained) and to the organizational and legal status of CERMI have been completed. This last activity, which falls within the framework of the eventual transformation of CERMI into a regional center, was the subject of consultations and exchanges between the project coordination and the Department of Energy of ECOWAS with the support of the NTU team of the AGoSE-AO Program.
  1. ECOWAS Regional Electricity Sector Regulatory Authority (ERERA) - Oumar Bangoura, Senior Legal Expert at ERERA, presented an overview of the ten (10) activities which are currently being carried out under the programme and their status of progress. Activities relating to the annual audit of the ECOWAS regional electricity market and the adoption of the principles of renewable energy regulation in the ECOWAS region have not yet started. The STANTEC service contract is due to end in October 2021, while the grant to ERERA is due to expire in February 2022. Given the delays in the implementation of a number of projects, caused by the disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, which still persist to this day, ERERA requests the EU to consider the extension of the period of execution of the various contracts in order to allow the completion of activities already started for the sustainability of the programme.

Following the presentations from all institutions it has been concluded that:

  • It is important to decide on the official launch of the ECOWAS Energy Information System platform to be accessible to the public
  • Update the Governance Dashboard as soon as the Analytical Report of the regional energy policy update mission is validated;
  • There is a need to establish periodic meetings to improve the coordination between the various components of the AGoSE-AO programme in order to optimize the results in terms of visibility and political commitment at the ECOWAS level.
  • It is important to ensure the sustainability, durability and link with future programs
  • Extend the period of the AGoSE-AO programme in order to allow the activities impacted by COVID-19 pandemic to be finalised