The ECOWAS region falls among groupings of countries where accurate information on the existing and planned resources, that are vital for strategic planning and development is deficient. The non-availability of reliable and updated energy information creates a major constraint for investors and project developers in the energy sector. The existing country data is in most cases not easily accessible and not updated. Different systems, resource maps, exist with various models and data sources. For investors and companies, it is difficult to identify cooperation partners due to the absence of specialized platforms for exchange of information and experiences. Information on good practices or successful (or unsuccessful) projects are not readily available for decision makers and experts. Given this situation, significant opportunities are lost for sustainable energy development in the region. Moreover, the ECOWAS region is attracting only a very small fraction of the USD 200 billion globally made available for investments in the renewable energy sector.


As a policy response, ECREEE in 2012, launched the ECOWAS observatory for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECOWREX). ECOWREX is aimed at improving existing knowledge and mitigating information barriers towards the development of the energy sector in the ECOWAS region. ECOWREX provides decision makers, project developers, investors and other stakeholders with tailored information and planning strategies. It will boost knowledge management, networking, advocacy and strengthening of capacities on renewable energy and energy efficiency. 

The project started with funds from UNIDO under the GEF Project "Promoting Coordination, Coherence and Knowledge Management under Energy Component of the Strategic Program for West Africa (SPWA)". ECOWREX has been also supported since 2012 by the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID). 
Considering the improvement in technology for data access and sharing, the need for data standardization and improvement in energy resources and potential mapping, ECREEE took further steps towards restructuring and improving the ECOWREX Geographic Information System (GIS). In partnership with the University of Geneva, Noveltis S.A.S, the Energy Centre of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the Directorate of Energy, Cape Verde, ECREEE executed a project titled “ECOWREX2” with the theme “Promoting Sustainable Energy Access through the use of geospatial technologies in West Africa”. It was funded by the European Union (for a total Grant of EURO 927,204.47) under the ACP-EU Science and Technology Programme II (ACP S&T II, GRANT FED/2013/330-248) which generally, aims to contribute towards building and strengthening capacities in the areas of Science, Technology and Innovation in the ACP countries.


The main objectives of ECOWREX is to

  • provide targeted, timely and statistical information on the energy resources (especially in the field of RE and EE) including RE resources, policies, projects, power plants and other relevant information about the ECOWAS Region, to support in decision making.
  • build up a network of energy experts and cooperation among key local and international players to share knowledge and experience on best practices and technical knowhow from around the world.