Praia - 1st August 2018 - The ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) and donor partners recently launched the program “Improving the Governance of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency sector in West Africa” (known by its French acronym AGoSEREE-AO). The ceremony held in Praia, Cabo Verde was presided over by senior officials from ECREEE, ERERA, ECOWAS Energy Commission, European Union and German Cooperation (BMZ and GIZ).

The objective of the program is to improve the regional policy, strategic and planning frameworks for Renewable Energy development, and the adoption of Energy Efficiency practices and technologies. The program also seeks to harmonize institutional, legislative and regulatory frameworks to promote investments in Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and access to modern energy services and development of the regional electricity market, enabling a higher penetration of renewable energies in the region’s energy mix. This will undoubtedly spur economic development in the ECOWAS region with the supply of electricity at affordable prices.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Executive Director of ECREEE, Mr. Mahama Kappiah, emphasized that the program strives to contribute to improving governance of the energy sector through several activities at regional and national levels. The program, he said, will also provide technical assistance for initiatives aimed at improving access to modern energy services and promoting sustainable energy and energy efficiency service delivery to a variety of public and private actors in the 15 ECOWAS countries and Mauritania. 

The ECREEE Executive Director noted with satisfaction the close collaboration with other specialized energy institutions in the Region, namely the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA) and the West African Power Pool (WAPP) in the implementation of the program. Mr. Kappiah thanked the European Union and the German Government, for supporting bilateral and regional efforts to improve access to modern energy services in the ECOWAS region, noting that they are grateful for their financial and technical support to this program.

Also addressing the opening ceremony, the Head of Cooperation, Delegation of the European Union in Cabo Verde, Jose Roman Leon Lora, pointed out that the Union has a long tradition of supporting regional integration across the continent in areas considered to be key for inclusive and sustainable development. He expressed confidence in the ability of ECREEE and GIZ as the implementing organizations of the program, noting that the two institutions have track records of competence in promoting sustainable energy.  

The main intervention areas of the program includes the development of strategies for the implementation of regional renewable energy corridors for solar, wind and hydropower, providing  support to improve the enabling environment for Grid connected Renewables and Off-grid through technical assistance to relevant stakeholders of ECOWAS Member States – including Ministries, Renewable Energy Agencies, regulators and utilities. The program also seeks to support the development of regional standards for renewable energy products in order to curb or eliminate the widespread use of sub-standard products, which are currently undermining the renewable energy market in the region.

The program will also help to promote the use of energy-efficient electric appliances in the region by developing Energy Efficiency Standards and Labelling schemes for electric appliances; Operationalize the Regional Certification Scheme for Solar PV Technicians to ensure the availability of qualified and competent technicians to carry out the operation and maintenance of our solar installations.

ECREEE team and national stakeholders (such as the Ministries of Energy, rural electrification agencies and local companies) is working to improve the enabling environment for the use of RE in rural electrification by supporting relevant institutions to develop changes in the legal and regulatory framework, conduct rural electrification planning and improve procedures and developing tools for national programs promoting off-grid RE solutions such as Clean Energy Mini-Grids (CEMG) and solar home systems.

Over 40 participants, including representatives of the Ministries of Energy from the 15 ECOWAS member states and Mauritania,  as well as representatives of the ECOWAS Commission, ECREEE, UEMOA, WAPP, ERERA, CERMI the EU, GIZ and the Germany Cooperation attended the event.