ECOWAS leaders, and international partners have reaffirmed commitment to improving energy access for all and setting a path for energy transition in the West African region.
The leaders made the remarks at the ongoing 7th Edition of the ECOWAS Sustainable Energy Forum (ESEF2022) convened at Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja, Nigeria. This forum is taking place on October 31st and November 1st in a hybrid format.
More than 300 delegates participated under the theme; Achieving Sustainable Energy Targets in the ECOWAS Region: Moving from Resilience to Transition!
According to organisers, the forum aims to catalyze public and private partnerships, contribute towards the creation of an enabling policy and regulatory environment, and the mobilization of new investments in the ECOWAS region’s sustainable energy sector.
50% of Africans have access to electricity, but less than 10% are accessible to those in the rural areas according to Sediko Douka, ECOWAS Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy and Digitalization.
He said that ECOWAS is working to integrate all communities into the grid: “By next year we will have electricity market where contractors can buy electricity.” He further added that: “We are developing a new energy policy for the region that will be operational by June next year.”
“The importance of energy to human development cannot be over emphasized. Its relevance extends beyond socio-economic development to include security and sovereignty, foreign policy as well as international trade,” said Engr. Abubakar Aliyu, Nigeria’s Minister of Power.