The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency with its agencies and partners are to develop a robust regional energy market.
The Energy market is to increase access to modern and sustainable energy services in West Africa. Dr Morlaye Bangoura, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Energy and Mines, who announced this, was speaking at the opening of a three-day ECOWAS Sustainable Energy Week in Accra.
The conference was on the theme: “Towards a viable and Robust Energy Market in ECOWAS Region.” The event, supported by development partners, including the European Union, United States Agency for International Development and the German Embassy, is to promote the exchange of ideas and cooperation to support the acceleration of the implementation of a regional energy market.
He said the event was to improve the current policy and regulatory landscape for a sustainable regional energy sector among the 15 ECOWAS countries. The conference would, therefore, facilitate interactions and forge partnerships between ECOWAS policy makers, the private sector and financial institutions.
The ECOWAS Commissioner said it was to assess the current status of the regional electricity market and present the regional perspective of the national Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency action plans.
He said the conference was to showcase available instruments by the partners and investment firms and discuss the acceleration in the implementation of grid connected renewable energy plants and the private sector involvement in rural electrification in West Africa.
Mr John Jinapor, the Deputy Minister of Power, commended the ECOWAS Commission and its agencies for the efforts to promote and improve on the energy situation on the continent.
He called on the Commission to include the private sector in its deliberations, since they played a pivotal role in the development and accessibility of energy. He said the Government was committed to the implementation of energy policies and it would continue to support the Commission in its activities.
Dr Daniel Schrith, the Sustainable Energy for All Africa Hub Coordinator at the African Development Bank, also commended the leadership of ECOWAS and its partners for promoting access to energy in the Sub-region.
He said the Bank was committed to championing the development of energy on the continent of Africa with the investment of 12 billion dollars from 2016-2020 in the energy sector.
He said the Bank looked forward to transforming the ambitious energy agenda of the continent in the next years. Mr Alexandra Deprez, the Mission Director, USAID, West Africa, said the importance of clean energy generation was increasing by the day in the light of climate change challenges.
He said clean energy stood at the centre of global efforts to move towards sustainable and resilient economies and poverty eradication. The Mission Director said clean energy technologies were recognised as important supply options and key resources for bridging the universal energy demand gap.