In order to consolidate the progress made so far in the drive for more energy efficiency and renewable energy utilisation, the board of the ECOWAS Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) has adopted its 2016 work programme for greater energy access.
The work programme, among others, is expected to facilitate the dream of keeping energy in the right quantity and quality in West Africa towards an integrated region which favours the development of energy conditions that the communities in the region require for economic growth.
The Programme was adopted at the 11th Meeting of the ECREEE board which met in Praia, Cabo Verde to endorse the ECREEE 2015 Work Plan Implementation Report, the ECREEE 2016 Work Programme as well as its annual Budget.
The board also appraised and applauded the strides made by ECREEE in the initiatives of developing the national action plans regarding Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency (EE), Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL), the policy on bio energy, studies carried out in Burkina Faso and Senegal, gender mainstreaming publications and the launching of clean energy corridor, etc.
During the opening of the board meeting, the goodwill message from the ECOWAS Commission expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister and the government of Cabo Verde for the effort to support integration ideas and the support for ECREEE.
The ECOWAS Commissioner for Energy and Mines Dr. Morlaye Bangoura stated that it is conventional wisdom that “up to a certain development threshold, there is a strong correlation between expansion in energy services and access and rapid economic growth, employment generation, poverty reduction and sustainable development”
He therefore noted that achieving universal and efficient access to reliable and adequate energy services “will remain one of the primary challenges for policy makers and other stakeholders in the quest for sustainable energy and development”
The commissioner further disclosed that the European Union (EU) has announced an initiative for the solar corridor in SAHEL, and hoped that with the support of the EU, ECREEE would make an impact on this corridor.
According to him, the upcoming activities indicate the relevance of ECREEE in all sectors of human development and especially for rural electrification.
He congratulated ECREEE for more engagement and larger commitment in promoting the vision of the Centre for greater access to cities and countries adding that ECOWAS will continue to support member states to supply needed equipment and energy components including capacity building for energy management in the region as it was another way of ensuring that projects implemented are adapted to the local conditions.
A good example in this regard, is the model for mini grids.
The ECOWAS Commissioner for Finance, Mrs. Saccoh felicitated with the board for the improvements witnessed in ECREEE while she served on the board.
She also commended the improvement in administrative activities which would have a lasting impression on the ECREEE legacy.
Speaking on behalf of the Minister for Energy, Industry and Tourism of Cabo Verde, Mr. Anildo Costa, General Director of Energy thanked the board especially the ECREEE Executive Director, Mr. Mahama Kappiah, for the successes recorded so far.
He said the objectives of the sustainable energy initiative for all are perfectly aligned with the strategies developed for the energy sector in Cabo Verde and the role it will play in the development of the country.
The Meeting was attended by six Board members and chaired by Commissioner Bangoura.
It welcomed new member Mrs. Ursula Stela who is a representative of the German agency for international cooperation – Deutsche Gesellschaft für bInternationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), while acknowledging the financial and technical contribution of GIZ in the implementation of the activities of ECREEE.
The institutions who sent in representatives as observers at the meeting included GIZ, Austrian Ministry of Environment the Austrian Energy Agency (AEA), and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) among others.
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