Côte d'Ivoire – Abidjan 24th October 2017 – The Executive Director of ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency ECREEE, Mr. Mahama Kappiah has spoken of the importance of the Rural Off-Grid Electrification Project (ROGEP) to the socio-economic development of the ECOWAS region. The ECREEE boss was speaking at a workshop held in Abidjan on Tuesday 24TH October 2017 dubbed “Market-based solutions for electricity access: Off-grid Government-Industry Dialogue Day”.

Mr. Kappiah told delegates that ROGEP, currently in its preparation phase, is implemented in collaboration with the World Bank and aims to support efforts geared towards accelerating the deployment of standalone PV systems for households, public services and productive uses.  This project he said will be implemented in the ECOWAS region as well in Mauritania, Chad, Cameroon and Central Africa Republic.

Mr. Kappiah pointed out that under the project, ROGEP will support the improvement of policy and regulatory frameworks at national and regional level with the vision of a harmonized regional market.

He said the project will also address issues relating to quality of service and standards, trade and customs requirements for equipment as well as skills development for Installers through a regional certification scheme for PV installers,

According to Mr. Kappiah, the services of the Regional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Entrepreneurship Facility, implemented by ECREEE since 2012 in collaboration with IRENA, will be expanded to provide technical assistance, capacity building and advisory support to an increased number of interested companies.

The project he said will also facilitate access to debt capital through the establishment of credit lines in commercial banks at the tune of 140 million dollars. This, combined with the establishment of a guarantee fund of 10 million dollars, will hopefully unlock a significant amount of deals.

Mr. Kappiah informed participants that ROGEP will mobilize an additional 20 million dollars as seed fund and matching grants for start-ups and companies at early stages of growth.

The ECREEE boss described the project as a major milestone in our common journey to universal access to sustainable electricity services and therefore called on interested stakeholders to join the efforts.

Experts believe that organizing the Off-grid Government-Industry Dialogue Day prior to the Unlocking Solar Capital Africa event would help to create strong benefits for government representatives, the industry, and investment partners. The event also provides an opportunity for Government representatives to expand their networking and learning across other solar technologies in a bid for a better understanding of solar market sub-sectors.