Praia – July 23rd, 2018 – The 15th Executive Board Meeting of the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) was held in Praia, Cabo Verde. Among the important issues on the agenda, was the discussion on the status of implementation of the ECREEE 2018 work program and budget. The board meeting also provided an opportunity for ECREEE to present to the board, some of the new programmes and projects being carried out.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Mahama Kappiah, Executive Director of ECREEE, welcomed the board and thanked all the partners of ECREEE for their support which has played an important role in helping the Centre to move forward and position itself as the go-to agency for sustainable energy not only in the region but also worldwide. The Executive director also emphasized that a lot of activities have been implemented by the Centre to achieve the regional sustainable energy goals.
Mr. Martin Lugmayr, representative of the United Nations for Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), highlighted the immense growth of ECREEE in the past years, as the Centre is moving to a new development stage. Mr. Lugmayr reiterated that UNIDO is committed to the development of ECREEE therefore, support will continue to be provided. In his view, the development of the Centre is due to the excellent leadership of the Executive Director, Mr. Mahama Kappiah, who through hard work contributed to establish a Centre which became a regional model to other parts of the globe, as similar Centres were established to promote regional cooperation to boost sustainable energy development.
On behalf of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), Ms. Alejandra Gracia congratulated ECREEE for the steps taken to develop renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy access and the approval of a gender policy to ensure equality in energy access. In her views, it is crucial to include the gender perspective into the energy value chain, taking into consideration that there are serious issues affecting the most vulnerable group enabling them to have the same opportunities.
H.E. Sediko Douka, ECOWAS Commissioner for Energy and Mines, demonstrated the commitment of ECOWAS to collaborate with ECREEE in order to move forward the regional sustainable energy agenda. The commissioner acknowledged the support provided by the different partners and also stressed the support provided by the World Bank Group to promote the Regional Off-Grid Electrification Project (ROGEP).
ROGEP is a project aiming at enhancing electricity access in West Africa and Sahel regions, through standalone solar systems (solar lanterns, solar home systems, solar water pumps, solar mills, solar sewing machines, etc.). The project, with an estimated overall budget of USD 200 million, includes 19 countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Togo, Cameroon, CAR, Chad, and Mauritania.
The commissioner also acknowledged the support from other partners such as the Global Environment Fund (GEF), USAID and GIZ.
In his remarks, Mr. Rito Évora, Energy Director of Cabo Verde, noted that Cabo Verde has hosted the Centre since its establishment in 2010. He stressed that during its eight years of operation, ECREEE has enabled a favourable environment for RE development and has implemented several projects at the community level and also helped to create a paradigm towards the achievement of their national goals in terms of renewable energy and energy efficiency. In concluding, the director reiterated that Cabo Verde is committed and will continue to support the important work that ECREEE is doing to promote sustainable energy development in the ECOWAS region.