By: Foday Manneh

The 7th ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA) forum begins in Banjul as regulatory bodies from across the subregion meet to chart ways to improve energy security in the region.

The forum, which will last for two days, is centered on an ambitious theme urging; “Energy Security in the ECOWAS Region Through Interdependence.”

The roundtable primarily aims to take advantage of the ECOWAS energy protocol to provide general principles to govern the Regional Electricity Market, enabling greater interdependence.

The summit’s host and Director General of the Gambia Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), Yusupha M. Jobe, emphasized the need to strengthen collaboration and forge a new chapter for the robust partnership to harness the potential of regional integration within ECOWAS.

“This will impact on ensuring efficient and transparent utility operations, fair pricing, especially concerning advocacy on expanding access to electricity to the subregion.” He said.

The Gambia’s Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Hon. Abdoulie Jobe commended ECOWAS nations for the promotion of cross-border electricity importation.

He added that “It is an integral part of the electricity roadmap in realizing the dream of energy security within the subregion.

The Chairman of the ERERA, Koccou Tossou, said solidarity among ECOWAS nations has always guided the work of ERERA in their quest to champion the course of the availability and supply of energy in the region.

Mr. Tossou called for stronger political will from ECOWAS leaders to realize the goals of interdependence in the energy sector.

The forum also creates an avenue for regulators, development policymakers, consumers, and utility service providers to rethink the increasing trend of high energy costs, training methods, and underline bottlenecks.

Representative of ECOWAS commission President at the event, Sediko Douka, reaffirmed ECOWAS’ commitment to fulfilling the full implementation of the energy market to ensure ERERA becomes an autonomous institution for harmonizing regulations and policies and practices of the electricity sector.

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