Abidjan, February 3, 2020. Ministers in charge of Energy from Six Member States of ECOWAS (Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Mali and Sierra Leone), Experts and the World Bank met today 3rd February 2020, in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire to collaborate and adopt a policy on the Securitisation of Payments Related to Cross-Border Power Trade in West Africa.
In order to cope with the low access of West African population to electricity, which remains one of the major challenges of the region, ECOWAS Member States have decided to focus on pooling efforts through the development of an integrated electricity market. In this context, requisite measures were set out in the ECOWAS Directive C/DIR/2/12/18 on the Securitization of the Cross-Border Power Trade under the Regional Electricity Market which was approved in December 2018 and will take effect from 1st January 2020.
At the opening ceremony, Mr. Cheick Fantamady Kante, the Country Director of the World Bank in Côte d’Ivoire, congratulated ECOWAS Member States for the ability to generate excess electricity in the region; especially Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria. He stressed that exchange of this surplus energy among Member States will be beneficial to the whole region.
Highlighting that, “one of the major setbacks for socio-economic development and poverty reduction in the ECOWAS Region remains the insufficient supply and poor access to electricity by the populations despite the enormous potentials”.
That is why according to Commissioner Douka, ECOWAS Commission is providing a lasting response to this challenge by placing access to energy and reduction in price of kWh among the fundamental priorities of the region.
In his opening remarks, H.E. Abdowahmane Cisse, Minister of Petroleum, Energy and Renewable Energy of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, underscored that the quest for access to energy by all in 2030 requires that Member States develop their production capacities and interconnection lines in accordance with the ECOWAS Master Plan in order to allow the pooling of regional energy resources.
After exhaustive deliberations at the meeting, the Ministers adopted the initiative for the implementation of the ECOWAS Directive on Securitization of Cross-Border transactions particularly the two instruments proposed by the World Bank and recommended the accelerating the preparation of the instruments namely; the budgetary support and the Liquidity Enhancing Revolving Fund (LERF), among others.