Paving the way for sustainable electricity services in West Africa and beyond

Accra, 18/June/18 - The ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) has embarked on a series of activities under its Regional Off-Grid Electrification Project (ROGEP) with the ultimate goal of providing access to reliable electricity through standalone solar systems for 19 countries in the ECOWAS and Sahel regions, including Central African Republic and Cameroon. The initiative could ultimately translate to improved livelihood conditions of the inhabitants of these regions, empowering men and women as they experience the positive impacts of accessing reliable energy services and experience positive impacts.

With the financial support of the World Bank, ECREEE, is organizing a series of events in Accra, Ghana from June 20th – 27th.  Understanding the fact that without access to sustainable energy services, countries in the broader western Africa, including Sahel, will be trapped in a vicious circle of poverty, social instability and underdevelopment, ECREEE, under its mandate is relentlessly working to remove barriers to a viable regional energy market. For this reason, the Center is focused on mitigating factors that are intricately hindering the implementation of regional strategies aimed at fostering socio-economic development, attracting foreign investment and providing basic social services for citizens of the region.

Three activities have been scheduled for the one-week period.  The first is a four-day training workshop planned to take place between June 20th and 23rd.  Its objective is to strengthen the knowledge and skills of 35 entrepreneurs from all 19 target countries of ROGEP, on pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) solar technologies business models in order to achieve higher uptake in rural areas. The participants are part of 50 selected entrepreneurs that have shown evidence of running activities in the solar energy industry and expressed interest in the ROGEP Entrepreneurship Facility.

The second activity is a Business-to-Business (B2B) networking event to be held on June 25th. The forum offers a unique platform to promote private sector involvement and cross-fertilization between local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and international companies. The B2B event will focus on harnessing private sector participation in standalone and off-grid electrification as well as facilitating partnership and business development. More than 30 local companies from all the ECOWAS member states, Mauritania, Chad, Cameroon and Central Africa Republic will participate in the event. Attending the B2B event will be an exceptional opportunity for networking and partnerships with private sector from West Africa.

On June 26th and 27th, the third and final activity for the week will be ROGEP´s second regional workshop. It will take place under the auspices of ECREEE, bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders from all the ECOWAS member states, Mauritania, Chad, Cameroon and Central Africa Republic.  Following the successful launch of the project at the first regional workshop held in Dakar, Senegal in October 2017, three main outcomes will be sought at this second ROGEP regional event:

  1. Presentation of the current status of preparation of the project;
  2. Detailed presentation of the concepts developed for each of the components and subcomponents and in-depth discussions  with the relevant stakeholders, and
  3. Presentation of the preliminary findings of the regional market assessment.

Active participation and feedback will be sought from relevant stakeholders ensuring that their views are adequately captured.

Building on the success of the launch of the ROGEP initiative at the first regional workshop in Dakar, ECREEE seeks to leverage the Accra workshop to apprise Community stakeholders on the outcomes of the first meeting, as the implementation phase of the project is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2019. 

The first phase of ROGEP has an estimated budget of USD 200 million and is expected to be funded by the World Bank. Nonetheless, the project is still seeking contributions from other partners. The project will cover all 15 ECOWAS member states, and four other non-ECOWAS countries namely, Mauritania, Chad, Central African Republic and Cameroon.