Ministers in Charge of Energy from ECOWAS Member States meet in Bissau: Adopt ECOWAS Energy Policy and Some Community Texts Relating to the Energy Sector
The Ministers in Charge of Energy from ECOWAS Member States met in Bissau, today, March 24, 2023, to adopt the ECOWAS Energy Policy, the Regional Electricity Code and the Green Hydrogen Policy, among others. The Ministerial meeting was preceded by a meeting of Energy Experts which held in Bissau from March 22 to 23.
The Ministers considered the Report of the Experts’ meeting and adopted the ECOWAS Energy Policy, the Regional Electricity Code and the Green Hydrogen Policy. Also on the agenda was the presentation of the state of implementation of the regional electricity market, the state of compliance of the Member States vis-à-vis the Directive on securing cross-border electricity exchanges within the framework of the regional electricity market, the ECREEE Strategic Plan 2023-2027, and the West African Gas Pipeline project and the importance of natural gas as a transition fuel to the Ministers.
In her remarks, Madeleine Onclin, Head of Cooperation at the European Delegation to the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, highlighted that the EU supported ECOWAS with thirty-two million euros (€ 32,000,000) to support the implementation of the Programme for Improvement of Energy Performance in West Africa (AGoSE-AO). “The EU will continue to support West African States to access clean and sustainable Energy”, she added.
In his remarks, Dr. Paul Koffi Koffi, Commissioner of Enterprise Development, Mining, Energy and Digital Economy of the UEMOA Commission, conveyed the support of his Institution to the initiatives undertaken by ECOWAS for the development of the energy sector in the Region. He pointed out that UEMOA has adopted the CAP 2025 Strategy which aims to develop energy poles in its area and that a round table will be organized at the end of 2023, to mobilize approximately 10 billion USD to support the said strategy. He expressed the wish for a work in greater synergy with ECOWAS to achieve common objectives in the energy sector.
While stressing the role of energy as a catalyst for socio-economic development, Mr. Sédiko Douka, Commissioner of Infrastructure, Energy and Digitalisation of the ECOWAS Commission, in his statement, highlighted the critical access to energy challenges ECOWAS is experiencing, which is currently at only 53%. To deal with this, ECOWAS, according to Commissioner Douka is developing a vast program of access to electricity through two major regional projects of more than one billion USD with financing from the World Bank (ECOREAP, BEST, ROGEAP).
He added that ECOWAS, by adopting today a solid Energy Policy, an ambitious Green Hydrogen Policy and a harmonized Electricity Code, will be able to pave the way for a fairer and more inclusive and prosperous and sustainable future for the Region.
In his opening statement, H.E. Engr. Augusto Poquena, Minister of Energy and Industry of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, stressed the need to improve the Energy cover in West Africa. He added that ECOWAS needs to put together efforts to ensure that policies are put in place to transform the Energy Sector.
During the meeting, the ECOWAS Energy Information System (EIS-ECOWAS), a platform that provides data and information for better planning, design and monitoring of strategies and energy sector policies was launched.