The ECOWAS Commission is organizing from March 29 to April 2, 2022, in Accra, Ghana, an annual workshop on the ECOWAS Energy Information System (ECOWAS-IS).The design of a regional energy information system is one of the flagship activities and component of the program "Improvement of Governance of the Energy Sector in West Africa (AGoSE-AO)", financed by theEuropean Union up to 32 million euros through the 11th EDF.
Speaking virtually at the opening of the Accra workshop, Mrs. Anastasia OIKONOMOU, the Representative of the European Union praised the excellent work carried out in the creation of the regional energy information system, which is the springboard for the realization of a series of regional commitments in the energy sector. These include the single market for the sale and purchase of electrical energy and the green energy transition. She urged the ECOWAS Commission and its specialized agencies in the energy sector to work closely together to achieve the objectives of the AGoSE program and future programs. In his speech during the opening ceremony of this workshop, Mr. Sédiko DOUKA, the ECOWAS Commissioner in charge of Energy and Mines indicated that the implementation process of the EIS-ECOWAS began since 2019 with already very convincing results, in particular: (i) the establishment of a web platform of the ECOWAS energy information system already posted on the ECOWAS website; (ii) the recruitment of a full-time EIS energy and database expert to coordinate and manage the Platform; and (iii) Collection and entry of data from 2010 to 2019 in the SIE. Commissioner DOUKA also recalled that the West African region has a low access rate of around 53% despite the significant progress made by Member States, such as Ghana, which is recording a 87% access rate. According to the ECOWAS Commissioner for Energy and Mines, once this system is operational, it should allow the provision of updated data and information by country and consolidated at the regional level, covering all characteristics (consumption, production, supply, energy sources, flows, etc.) and control of the energy situation in West Africa. This data is essential to know the current and projected situation of the sector and, in the long term, to allow sustained decision-making to face the challenges of the energy sector. Finally, Commissioner DOUKA supported the idea of West African Leaders not to stop the financing of projects using fossil fuels, particularly natural gas which is known to be non-polluting. Finally, he called on the technical and financial partners to be more realistic in dealing with this file. Proceeding to the official opening of the workshop, Mr. Lawrence APAALSE, the Director of Cabinet representing the Minister of Energy of Ghana, indicated in his speech that the provision of a reliable and effective database is an asset for any country in the energy sector because this tool is crucial for medium and long term planning and adequate decision making. Ghana's experience in this area is reflected in the annual publication of an analysis of the country's energy situation and its evolution through the "Energy Outlook of Ghana". The Director of Cabinet of the Minister of Energy of Ghana, finally, welcomed the development of such a system at the regional level. This will allow better planning of investments and establish socio-economic policies. During the five days of work, several results will be presented to the participants, in particular: (i) the energy situation in the ECOWAS region and its evolution; (ii) the quality of energy statistics in the Member States and (iii) the web platform for disseminating information and the challenges for its improvement. They will also be trained in the use of common questionnaires for collecting statistics on energy and energy efficiency, in the methodology of data collection and the tools used in the context of the development of the energy balance and regional indicators. . Finally, the experts will validate the statistical data consolidated at the regional level over the period 2010 to 2019. The Focal Points designated by the States take part in the work of the workshop (energy statistics and energy efficiency); the European Union ; experts from the ECOWAS Directorate of Energy and Mines as well as those from specialized ECOWAS agencies in charge of energy (WAPP/WAPP, CERREC/ECREEE, ARREC/ERERA).