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The ECOWAS Regional Electricity Code is the main agenda item of a workshop to be held in Dakar, Senegal from 13 to 16 September 2022. Energy experts from ECOWAS Member States, the European Union, the Directorate of Energy and Mines and relevant ECOWAS specialized agencies , and some regional institutions have four days to approve the draft document under consideration.

The official opening ceremony was presided over by Mr. Issa Dione, Chief of Staff, representing Her Majesty the United Kingdom to Ms. Aissat Sophie Gladyma, Senegal’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy. He thanked ECOWAS and the European Union on behalf of his country and then announced the goals Senegal’s new planwhich will address the country’s energy challenges through a new sector development policy mandate.

The head of the General Staff emphasized once again that the energy sector of the region still faces significant structural problems. According to him, in order to solve the existing problems, a stronger regulatory and legal framework is needed, which will allow to increase the investments of the private sector and expand the population’s sustainable access to electricity. He concluded by addressing the participants: “We hope that, as you plan, with a particular focus on harmonizing the laws and texts governing the energy sector in the ECOWAS region, we will arrive at a regional electricity code that is reliable and responsive to the requirements of the regional market and in the wider global context.”

The EU representative present also noted the importance that his institution attaches to such an invaluable document in solving structural problems in the region, in relation to the implementation of laws that ensure a single energy market, better access to electricity for the population and private capital mobilization.

Captly representing the ECOWAS Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy and Digitalization, Sedik Duka, the Director of Energy and Mines, Mr. Bayaornibe Dabire, began by thanking the Senegalese authorities on behalf of Omar Aliou Toure, President of the ECOWAS Commission, for providing the funds for the workshop. He also expressed ECOWAS’ gratitude to the European Union for its continued support in creating a fully integrated energy sector in the region.

He also stated that the adoption of the Regional Electricity Code is one of the main activities of the ECOWAS Commission’s “Improving Energy Governance in West Africa (AGoSE-AO)” program jointly with the European Union under the 11th EDF. The €32 million program aims to improve regional energy sector governance and help ECOWAS member states achieve the following three objectives: (1) ensuring universal access to modern energy services, (2) doubling energy efficiency to minimize overall energy consumption, and (3) doubling shares of renewable energy sources in the global energy balance.

Continuing to speak, the ECOWAS Director of Energy and Mines recalled that NTU International, the team responsible for the development of the Regional Electricity Code, had already submitted two deliverables: the Data Collection, Assessment and Draft Code Report and the Draft Code Report. The initial report on the draft code was reviewed in October 2021 in Ouagadougou. Then the comments of the experts formed the basis of the revised version of the project of the regional code, which is an item on the agenda of the current workshop.

He reminded the participants of the objective of the workshop, which was to scrutinize the revised draft code to ensure that the provisions are a harmonization of legal and institutional instruments to improve the governance of our region’s energy sector. Mr. Dabir called for a constructive discussion, which will ensure the submission of a revised document for approval by the ECOWAS Minister of Energy.

Expected results of the workshop: confirmed definition of general principles; verified articles on the organization and functioning of the energy sector in West Africa; approved technical regulations and rules relating to electricity.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

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