La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, Accra, Ghana

Accra, Ghana – October 8th - 10th, 2013 - The ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), in collaboration with the Regional Clean Energy Initiative of the United States Agency for International Development, the Climate Technology Initiative-Private Financing Advisory Network (CTI-PFAN), the Regional Collaboration Centre of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC-RCC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the West African Development Bank (BOAD), organized the ECOWAS Renewable Energy Investment Week, featuring the West African Clean Energy Finance Forum and the ECOWAS Renewable Investment Forum. Over 100 participants from Africa, Asia, Europe and United States attended the event.

The Renewable Energy Investment Week forms part of the main goals of the ECREEE, aiming to mitigate financial barriers to investments in small, medium and large-scale renewable energy and energy efficiency projects and businesses within the ECOWAS region. To this end, the program brought together representatives of financial institutions, project promoters, as well as potential investors, thereby pursuing the creation of a business-friendly environment conducive to networking between the parties.

The West Africa Forum for Clean Energy Financing (WAFCEF) is a partnership of ECREEE, USAID within its Regional Clean Investment Initiative (RCEII), together with the West Africa PFAN partners. The Forum is the culmination of the WAFCEF process which started on April of this year with the call for proposals of business plans. The call attracted seventy two projects, among which 10 finalists were selected for presentations during the WAFCEF event on 8th October, 2013.

The ECREEE Investment and Business Promotion Programme focused on the concept of Investment in the RE industry, considered in relation with other main components of a sustainable energy market development, including the role of public institutions in creating enabling environment to renewables deployment. This year ECREEE selected 23 RE projects from its pipeline of 730 clean projects identified across the ECOWAS region.

In her opening remarks Ms. Alma Mensah, representing the Director of ECREEE Mr. Mahama Kappiah, expressed the importance of such events which are propitious occasions to develop business opportunities and to create networks which may be beneficial to projects in the region. Speaking in the name of the Director, Ms. Mensah highlighted the WAFCEF event as a great opportunity for the private sector to be more involved in the clean energy commitment of the ECOWAS region. She sees the Forum as a “demonstration of commitment to the region’s economic and social development in an environmentally benign manner, particularly given the critical role of RE & EE in the priority areas of development and the unsustainable nature of current energy practices.”

During the EREI Forum, representatives of Governments in the region expressed strong commitment towards the reinforcement of clean energy, which, as expressed by the Ministry for Energy of Ghana, will contribute “to ensure growth of the economy and therefore to improve living conditions of the population.”