ECOWAS launches new energy access initiatives for the sub-region
ACCRA, 26 October 2011 –The Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) is launching several projects this week in Accra to expand the use of renewable energy in the sub-region.
The projects will help build the institutional capacity of ECREEE in the field of energy efficiency and are funded by the European Union.
ECREEE is a specialized agency which acts as an independent body but within the legal, administrative and financial framework of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS).
In many West African countries, efforts to reduce poverty and achieve greater economic growth are thwarted by the absence of electricity. However, most of these countries have great potential for producing energy using hydro, geothermal, solar and methane gas resources that as a result of the limited institutional capacity remain unexplored.
During the launch of the new projects, the Director of Environment at ECOWAS, Johnson Boanuh, expressed his appreciation to the Government of Ghana for hosting the event and to the partners, notably UNIDO, UNDP, the governments of Austria and Spain, the European Commission and USAID for supporting the integration activities of ECOWAS and ECREEE.
He said that the projects represent another opportunity to reflect on ways of finding lasting solutions to the energy challenges currently plaguing the ECOWAS region.
The Executive Director of ECREEE, Mahama Kappiah, called for urgent actions to provide access to electricity and modern cooking fuels in the rural areas of ECOWAS. He highlighted the crucial role of decentralized clean energy solutions and mini-grids for rural income generation, education, health care, agricultural activities, job creation and household energy.
The Senior Adviser to the Director-General of UNIDO, Akmel Akpa, commended ECOWAS for showing leadership in promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency. He said that with the creation of ECREEE the first regional renewable energy promotion agency of sub-Saharan Africa is fully operational. He assured the continued support of UNIDO to ECREEE and voiced support for the establishment of similar Centers in East and Southern Africa.
For more information on ECREEE, please go to: www.ecreee.org
For more information on the event, please go to: http://energy4all.ecreee.org, or email:
Achada Santo Antonio