ECOWAS Countries Move Forward on SE4All Initiative

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) convened representatives of the 15 ECOWAS countries for a kick-off workshop on the development of the ECOWAS Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency National Action Plans and Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Action Agendas in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire from March 17-19, 2014.

The meeting took place against the backdrop of promising sustainable energy developments in the ECOWAS region, particularly with the adoption of the ECOWAS Renewable Energy Policy (EREP) and the ECOWAS Energy Efficiency Policy (EEEP) by the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government in July 2013. Furthermore, all 15 ECOWAS countries have opted-in to Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative and the workshop took place following the clarification of the SE4ALL country action process subsequent to a meeting hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Tunis in December 2013. The kick-off took place at the same time with a view to realize the synergies between the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Action Plans and the SE4ALL Action Agenda.

The workshop was attended by over 80 participants from the region as well as experts from development partners and was officially opened by Mahama Kappiah, the Executive Director of ECREEE.

The SE4ALL Africa Hub Coordinator, Daniel Schroth, from the AfDB's Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department, presented the SE4ALL Action Agenda template that was developed by the Africa Hub to the meeting participants. The SE4ALL Action Agenda is a strategic and holistic national document looking at the three objectives on universal energy access, doubling the share of renewables and the rate of energy efficiency improvements in an integrated manner. It is to intervene as an umbrella framework for the energy sector development until 2030 that also includes key sectors affected by energy: food security, gender, health, water and so on. Schroth said, "The launch of the Action Agenda process in the ECOWAS region is a major milestone for the roll-out of SE4ALL across Africa. It will help to identify the priority actions towards the SE4ALL objectives with a view to mobilize the required investments."

The Action Agenda template together with the templates for the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Action Plans were validated by the representatives of the ECOWAS countries. They will serve as the basis for the development of SE4ALL Action Agendas in the 15 ECOWAS countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo). The AfDB, together with SE4ALL Africa Hub partners, envisages supporting several ECOWAS countries in this process in close cooperation with ECREEE.

The African Development Bank hosts the SE4ALL Africa Hub in partnership with the African Union Commission, the NEPAD Agency and the United Nations Development Programme.