ECREEE promotes regional cooperation to endorse equal access to opportunities

Praia, 28/May/18 - The ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), with the financial support of the World Bank Group and the Technical assistance of Lighting Africa program, has been preparing to implement the Regional Off-Grid Electrification Project (ROGEP), aimed at promoting cooperation in the energy sector at the regional level to endorse equal access to opportunities and poverty reduction.

Regional cooperation is critical to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity in the ECOWAS and Sahel regions. These regions are diverse economically, culturally, and ecologically, but they also present opportunities for regional collaboration. For the past years, many countries of these regions have moved forward at the political and economic levels towards a greater cooperation for poverty reduction. In addition, these regions are characterized by having one of the world’s lowest access rates of access to energy--only 40% of the inhabitants have access. This is an indicator that energy access in the region is a real challenge and lot of effort and a multi-sectoral approach is needed to tackle the current situation.

It is against this background that ECREEE, together with the of the World Bank Group, have designed ROGEP to promote access to reliable electricity services through standalone solar systems throughout communities across the region that are not connected to the grid. The overall estimated budget of this project is USD 200 Million and it covers 19 countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Togo, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, and Mauritania.

ROGEP will enhance electricity access in West Africa and Sahel regions, through standalone solar systems promotion (solar lanterns, solar home systems, solar water pumps, solar mills, solar sewing machines, etc.). This is one of the best solutions to provide electricity to the population who are far from the grid. By having access to reliable electricity services, the population will be better placed to have greater access to social and economic opportunities.