West Africa regional co-operation powers up

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THE new Regional Master Plan for the Production and Transmission of Electric Power of the Economic Community of West African States ( ECOWAS ) has been finalised.

The plan, which was presented to EU Ambassador to Benin, Oliver Nette, by Secretary General of the West African Power Pool (WAPP), Siengui Appollinaire Ki, aims to increase power access and coverage across the region by increasing synergies between different countries.

The new plan is an update of the existing one, which aimed to run from 2012 to 2025. It will strengthen the operational framework around the WAPP to create a unified regional market for electricity, thus increasing supply and reducing end-user cost. The proposed plan will run from 2019 to 2033.

‘The timing for this master plan update is perfect. The attention given to the energy sector by the population as well as lawmakers is unprecedented. International political agenda places energy development as a key priority to tackle climate change issues. This master plan update will include a number of initiatives in that direction. Strong political leadership, as shown by several heads of state, will ensure an efficient implementation of the plan, thus carrying out the regional electricity market, while increasing transparency and strengthening business climates,’ Ambassador Nette stated.

Several key projects show the commitments of the different parties involved, such as the Ghana-Burkina Faso interconnection and the WAPP centre, which is currently under construction in Abomey-Calavin Benin and will be the focal point of the regional electricity market coordination.

The phase of studies for the plan’s update were funded by the EU up to €1.6 million but the Ambassador noted that it was crucial to increase investor confidence to trigger private participation in this project.

Once finalised, WAPP aims to provide a cheaper and more stable access to electricity, which is currently among the most expensive worldwide at an average of 25c/KWh

 

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