GEF Strategic Program for West Africa: Energy Component


Keeping in view the regional and national developmental priorities of countries in West Africa, the main objective of the energy component of this GEF strategic program is to bring about significant global environmental benefits in these countries in the area of climate change, along with a number of local environmental benefits, as well as important developmental benefits. Operationally, the main objective is to use a programmatic approach to ensure greater coherence in the formulation of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects at the national level in these countries, and promote greater synergies in their implementation. In line with the rest of the GEF program for West Africa, the energy component will primarily promote practical and action oriented projects with measurable impacts, and will catalyze private sector investments, strengthen public-private partnerships and stimulate scaling up of renewable energy and energy efficiency markets in the region. The energy component will specifically focus on the energy access agenda and the linked issues of productive and income generation activities besides promoting energy efficiency measures in the industrial, residential and public sectors.

Program Objectives

The main objective of the energy component under the GEF Support Program for West Africa is to promote an integrated, programmatic approach for ensuring coherence in the formulation of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects at the national level in countries of West Africa and synergies in their implementation. The energy component will primarily promote practical and
action oriented projects, and catalyze private sector investments and partnerships to stimulate renewable energy and energy efficiency markets in the region. The energy component will specifically promote the access agenda and the linked issues of productive and income generation activities, besides bringing about significant local and global environmental benefits in countries of West Africa.
The energy component will also promote long lasting solutions such as educating the public through awareness campaigns on Renewable Energy Technologies (RETs) and Energy Efficiency (EE) and dissemination of information through technology parks, centers and workshops.

Program Structure:

This energy component under the GEF Support Program for West Africa is structured around the following four inter-related components:

  • Promoting renewable energy for enhancing access and supporting productive capacities;
  • Promoting sustainable energy production from biomass;
  • Promoting energy efficiency in residential and commercial buildings and in the industrial sector;
  • Promoting sustainable innovative systems for urban transport

These four components were the result of West Africa’s regional / country-level priorities as well as of the project concepts received from the countries. In all, 57 project concepts were received from the participating countries, 78% of which were focused on renewable energy and 22% on energy efficiency. Out of 57, 26 projects along with 1 MSP for knowledge management, capacity building including training, coherence and coordination were finally selected that met the criteria and trategic focus set under the energy component.

In order to ensure cohesiveness amongst the components, the energy component will strategically focus at three levels. At the first level, in order to show measurable impacts, it will focus on ensuring the formulation of concrete and practical projects on the ground that will demonstrate the techno-economic viability of renewable energy systems for power generation, and the benefits of using
energy efficiently, especially by industry and public sectors. At the second, policy level, steps will be taken to mainstream the access agenda and end use efficiencies into national and regional policy and strategy frameworks. The new policy signals so generated will help drive the energy markets towards the scaling up of renewable energy and energy efficiency systems in the region. At the third
level, the energy component will focus on creating robust public-private partnerships for the provision of technology solutions and building the necessary institutional infrastructure and supply chain for support services and creation of markets.

All three levels are interlinked. Without the correct policy signals, markets in renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency services will be slow to develop. However, even with the correct policy signals, markets will not develop without the necessary capacity-building and the creation of required public-private partnerships. Markets will not develop, however, even with the right policy
signals and the necessary skills and partnership development if the end users are not convinced of the viability of renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency practices. Thus these technologies and these practices must be demonstrated and the results of these demonstrations widely disseminated.


Leader Promoters: 

Other Promoters: 

  • Benin
  • Burkina Faso
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Cote d Ivoire
  • Liberia
  • Mali
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal
  • Togo