By: Foday Manneh
Concerted action to end abiding energy challenges derailing sub-regional development is the new effort being driven by the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority.
As energy stakeholders and ERERA delegates conclude the 7th ERERA forum in Banjul, the body has been called upon to establish an efficient regional market for energy security in the sub-region.
This year’s forum centered on boosting; “Energy Security in the ECOWAS Region through Interdependence” focused on improving electricity supply security through regional energy trading facilitated by a common market and promoting cross-border electric connectivity for sustainable development.
The Banjul summit noted that 13 of 14 ECOWAS nations are connected to the regional grid. The regulatory authority hopes to close in on the remaining countries by the end of this year to link all 14 ECOWAS nations to an interconnected energy grid.
Several infrastructure projects are being carried out by WAPP, including the construction of the Information and Coordination Center, whose equipment installation is scheduled to be completed in February 2023.
Based on some of these conclusions, it has been recommended that the ECOWAS regulatory authority establish and strengthen more sustained communications between Member States and all stakeholders for the construction of an efficient regional market for energy security.
ERERA is expected to accelerate the implementation of interconnection projects and harmonize national policy and regulatory frameworks for markets, third-party access to the network, and accounting separation.
The Chairperson of ERERA, Koccou Laurent R. Tossou, said their next step is the definition of a clear action plan alongside a monitoring and evaluation program to guide the activities towards the launch of the second phase of action in the common ECOWAS regional electricity market.
Mr. Koccou also declared that the Republic of Niger has offered to host the following Regional Regulatory forum of ERERA in 2023.
The host of this year’s flagship event and top PURA executive Yusupha M. Jobe thanked participants from across the ECOWAS region, urging action to ensure better energy and utility services across the region with cooperation and joint initiatives to attain the sustainability agenda ahead of the following forum