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ECOWAS members to review regional energy supply

18 November 2007 – Ministers of energy from 15 ECOWAS states met in Togo over the weekend to review the state of accessibility to energy in the region and make recommendations for improvements.


ECOWAS headquarters

Presentations on ECOWAS commissioned projects including the West African Gas Pipeline Project (WAGP), The West African Power Pool (WAPP), the Regulation Project and the Regional Policy on Access to Energy Service to Rural and peri-urban areas of West Africa were considered.

The WAGP, which is expected to make its first delivery in December 2007, is expected to transport natural gas from Nigeria to Benin, Togo, Tema and Takoradi in Ghana.

A progress report on the WAPP showed that US$350 million was approved by the World Bank in 2005 for financing of priority projects between 2005 and 2011.

The WAPP objectives are to "coordinate, promote and develop regional generation and transmission infrastructure and electricity trade, develop and share hydro and thermal resources, as well as integrate national network into a unified regional electricity market to provide adequate, reliable and affordable electricity."

A further objective is to put in place an institutional framework for energy trade and establish a regulator. The framework will be based on the ECOWAS energy protocol, which was ratified in December 2006.

A grant of five million Euros was provided by the French Development Agency (Agence Francais de Development) for the cross borders electricity exchange.

Ministers are also expected to adopt an emergency power supply development plan developed by the ECOWAS commission, WAPP secretariat and utility members as a response to power shortages experienced within the ECOWAS community.