Summary report, 29–31 October 2012

ECOWAS-GFSE-GEF-UNIDO High-Level Energy Forum Towards Sustainable Energy for All in West Africa

The Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), the Global Forum for Sustainable Energy (GSFE), and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) organized this High Level Energy Forum Towards Sustainable Energy for All in West Africa, themed “Paving the Way for Sustainable Energy for All in West Africa through Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency” from 29–31 October 2012, in Accra, Ghana. The event was hosted by the Government of Ghana and took place as part of the UN Sustainable Energy For All (SE4ALL) Initiative, which aims, by 2030, to: ensure universal access to modern energy services; double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix; and double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.

The forum brought together 323 participants, including energy and environment ministers, leaders of international organizations, diplomats, and other high-level actors to facilitate the establishment of a regional implementation framework for the SE4ALL Initiative in the ECOWAS region. The main outcomes of the meeting included the adoption by ECOWAS energy ministers of resolutions on the: ECOWAS Policy on Renewable Energy; ECOWAS Policy on Energy Efficiency; ECOWAS Small Hydro Power Program; and the ECOWAS Bioenergy Strategy Framework.


Sustainable energy has increasingly been recognized as not only a fundamental requirement for addressing climate change, but also for sustainable development more generally, and especially as an opportunity for developing countries to take a greener, more decentralized approach to energy provision than that of industrialized countries. With an estimated 1.6 billion people still lacking access to modern energy services globally, the decentralized options available using renewable energies can have fast and affordable positive impacts on health, productivity, and education. For these reasons, access to energy has often been coined as the “missing Millennium Development Goal (MDG),” for without access to energy, many of the MDGs would be impossible to achieve.

Accordingly, there has been a growing focus in international dialogues regarding the need to scale-up sustainable energy production and access globally. A selection of these, related to West Africa, are outlined below.


The international community’s first major attempt to develop a strategy for the use of alternative fuels was the 1981 Resolution by the 36th UN General Assembly (UNGA 36) (A/RES/36/193) on the outcomes of the UN Conference on New and Renewable Sources of Energy which convened in Nairobi, Kenya in August 1981.

The UN Conference on Environment and Development met in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and adopted Agenda 21, an action plan for implementing sustainable development. Chapter 9 of Agenda 21 addresses sustainable energy, noting the increasing need to rely on environmentally-sound energy systems, particularly new and renewable sources of energy.

In April 2001, in New York, US, the ninth session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD 9) adopted Decision E/CN.17/2001/19 on “Energy for Sustainable Development,” addressing issues such as the role of the private sector, research and development, institutional capacities, financial support, energy accessibility, and rural energy. IISD Reporting Services’(RS’) coverage of CSD 9 can be found at:

The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), held in August-September 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa, adopted the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI), which addresses renewable energy in several of its chapters, including on poverty eradication (Chapter II), sustainable consumption and production patterns (Chapter III), small island developing states (Chapter VII), and Africa (Chapter VIII). IISD RS coverage of WSSD can be found at:

Held in New York, US, in May 2007, CSD 15 addressed energy issues, although delegates did not reach consensus on any decisions. IISD RS coverage of CSD 15 can be found at:

In December 2010, the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 65) adopted Resolution 65/151 proclaiming 2012 as the International Year for Sustainable Energy for All.

SE4ALL: UNGA declared 2012 the “International Year of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL),” and in this context, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched an SE4ALL Initiative to identify and mobilize action on sustainable energy by stakeholders from across government, business, civil society, academia and the development community. The SE4ALL Initiative aims to achieve three objectives by 2030: ensuring universal access to modern energy services; doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. The International Year and the SE4ALL includes initiative such as: the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Group; national dialogues to facilitate stakeholder involvement; and policy formulation and evaluation, as well as a public-private partnership of practitioners in the energy community.

IRENA: The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) was established on 26 January 2009. IRENA’s statute entered into force on 8 July 2010. As of October 2012, 159 countries and the European Union (EU) are signatories of IRENA, with 100 states and the EU having ratified its statute. The first session of the IRENA Assembly was held in April 2011, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). IISD RS’ coverage of the first Assembly can be found at:

The second session of the IRENA Assembly took place in January 2012 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The meeting resulted in strengthening IRENA’s institutional structure, and an expansion of its budget for 2012. IISD RS’ coverage of the second Assembly can be found at:

The IRENA High-Level Africa Consultative Forum on Renewable Energy was held in July 2011 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The meeting discussed IRENA’s Work Programme for Africa, specific implementation challenges facing Africa with respect to renewable energy technologies, as well as practical approaches to generate the critical policy and technical information, advice and capacity required to support the extensive deployment of renewable energy in Africa. The forum resulted in the Abu Dhabi Communiqué on Renewable Energy for Accelerating Africa’s Development. IISD RS’ coverage of the High-Level Forum can be found at:


GLOBAL FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE ENERGY (GFSE): The first GFSE convened in December 2000, in Laxenburg, Austria. It addressed the theme “Rural Energy - Priorities for Action.” Since then, the Forum has convened almost every year, addressing themes such as energy technologies in the context of rural development, the role of incentive measures, biomass, “Africa is Energizing Itself,” and energy efficiency for developing countries. IISD RS’ coverage of many of these events can be found at:

G8 AND RENEWABLE ENERGY: In July 2000, the Group of Eight (G8) leading industrialized countries established the Renewable Energy Task Force to identify actions to promote a change in the supply, distribution and use of renewable energy in developing countries. In 2001, the Task Force concluded that renewable energy resources can sharply reduce local, regional and global environmental impacts, as well as energy security risks. It suggested that concerted action be undertaken by the G8, other countries, the private sector and international financial institutions to implement its recommendations. At its Gleneagles Summit in July 2005, the G8 issued a joint statement in which world leaders announced a global dialogue on climate change, clean energy and sustainable development. In 2009, the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation was signed.

INTERNATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY CONFERENCE: At the WSSD in 2002, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder invited the international community to a Conference on Renewable Energy. The International Renewable Energy Conference (IREC), “Renewables2004,” took place in June 2004, in Bonn, Germany, and launched a series of IREC meetings. The outcomes of the conference led to the creation of the Renewable Energy Network for the 21st Century (REN21). IISD RS’ coverage of Renewables2004 can be found at:

Subsequently, three more meetings have been held under the IREC process, including: the Beijing International Renewable Energy Conference (BIREC), hosted by China in November 2005, which adopted the Beijing Declaration; the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference (WIREC), which was held in March 2008, in Washington DC, US, and resulted in the Washington International Action Programme; and the Delhi International Renewable Energy Conference (DIREC 2010), which took place in October 2010, in New Delhi, India. IISD RS’ coverage of WIREC can be found at:, and DIREC at:

GLOBAL RENEWABLE ENERGY FORUM (GREF): The first GREF was held in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, in May 2008, with the objectives of: creating a suitable environment to promote dialogue on strengthening inter-regional bonds; setting up joint actions among countries and regions to reduce poverty and enhance energy security through the use of renewable energy sources; and promoting the development of renewable energy sources and related infrastructure in Latin America and the Caribbean. IISD RS’ coverage of the meeting can be found at:

The second GREF convened in October 2009, in León, Mexico, under the theme “Scaling up Renewable Energy.” Its main objective was to provide a platform for proactive dialogue to strengthen inter-regional cooperation and encourage innovative multi-stakeholder partnerships aimed at scaling-up renewable energy in Latin America and elsewhere. IISD RS’ coverage of the meeting can be found at:

EU ENERGY INITIATIVE FOR POVERTY ERADICATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (EUEI): Established at the WSSD, the EUEI exists as part of the EU-ACP (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific) Energy Facility. It will disperse €420 million for the promotion of modern, affordable and sustainable energy services in rural and peri-urban areas by 2013.

AFRICA-EU ENERGY PARTNERSHIP (AEEP): AEEP was launched in Lisbon, Portugal, in December 2007, during the second Africa-EU Summit. The Africa-EU Joint Strategy and Action Plan was established, creating a framework for structured political dialogue and cooperation on four broad areas of joint strategic importance: peace and security; governance and human rights; trade and regional integration; and key development issues. The AAEP is one of eight strategic partnerships that emerged from the Africa-EU Joint Strategy and Action Plan, and currently focuses on three key areas: energy access; energy security; and renewable energy.

The first High-Level Meeting (HLM) of AEEP took place on 14-15 September 2010, in Vienna, Austria, to discuss energy access, energy security and renewable energy. The main themes discussed during the HLM included: the need to recognize energy as one of the keys to achieving the MDGs; the role of public and private sector finance and new financial instruments; the importance of a stable energy supply for economic and industrial development; the need for capacity building and knowledge creation on the potential of renewables; the role of policies and institutions in shaping stable and conducive investment environments; and the special attention needed to supply energy to the poor. IISD RS’ coverage of the meeting can be found at:

PROGRAMME FOR INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA (PIDA): PIDA was developed by the African Union Commission, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, and the Secretariat and the African Development Bank in July of 2010. PIDA aims to improve access to integrated regional and continental infrastructure networks, and has a program to identify priority renewable energy projects for investment.


On Monday 29 October, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, Deputy Minister for Energy of Ghana, welcomed participants and emphasized that poverty cannot be conquered without achieving universal access to energy. He described actions being taken in Ghana to improve energy access and energy efficiency, and stressed the need to look to new solutions and to work together to ensure the success of the SE4ALL Initiative.

Kandeh Yumkella, Director General, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and UN Energy Chair, stressed that the Forum is an opportunity to draw up concrete action plans to achieve sustainable energy for all in the region. He said development is not possible without energy, and called for a paradigm shift in the energy sector toward a focus on universal energy access. He described the successes of SE4ALL in setting an action agenda, attracting funding commitments, and developing a governance structure that will maintain the Initiative for a decade. Yumkella stressed that West Africa is well-positioned to scale-up energy projects, improve capacity building, and achieve significant results.

Irene Giner-Reichl, President of the GFSE, said energy poverty is a major development barrier and commended ECOWAS on its cooperation on this issue through the ECOWAS ECREEE. She said the ECREEE model has been so successful that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Eastern African Community (EAC) are interested in emulating it. She indicated her hopes that the meeting would inform emerging discussions over the creation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on the centrality of energy for development.

André Laperrière, Deputy CEO of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), said GEF has invested US$6.6 billion in energy access projects but lamented that its Strategic Program for West Africa (SPWA) has been unable to inject all of a planned half a billion US dollars in ECOWAS due to roadblocks, which he hoped would be addressed at this meeting.

Ebrima Njie, Commissioner for Infrastructure, ECOWAS, reminded participants that ECOWAS members have the lowest access to energy per capita in the world. He stressed the importance of the policies to be adopted at the Forum in providing clear regulatory frameworks and opportunities for increased private sector investment, to assist in overcoming energy poverty in the subregion.

Marcel Alers, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), highlighted UNDP’s support of SE4ALL, emphasizing that due to its scarcity, funding must be used effectively. He stressed the importance of creating enabling conditions to trigger financial flows from various sources, including the private sector.


This session took place on Monday morning and was chaired by Irene Giner-Reichl, GFSE President. Yumkella outlined the SE4ALL Initiative, highlighting its goals, vision, and action areas. He highlighted that SE4ALL funding commitments made at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) were significant not only due to their levels but also due to the wide variety of entities engaged. He noted that the emphasis of the Initiative is to support countries in their work on energy poverty, and on removing barriers to energy access. He concluded by stressing the need for both bottom-up and top-down solutions to energy poverty.

Thomas Johansson, University of Lund and Co-Chair of the Global Energy Assessment (GEA), described the GEA’s findings on SE4ALL and West Africa. Noting that while the GEA takes a global approach, he emphasized that it also looks at local and regional conditions and solutions. He described challenges requiring changes to energy systems, such as: energy poverty; affordability; security of supply; and addressing health, environmental, climate change, peace and food security issues. Johansson said the GEA provides insights to inform policy making on overcoming these challenges.

Rana Adib, REN21, presented findings of REN21’s flagship publication, the Renewables 2012 Global Status Report, saying that knowledge gaps remain on energy access and energy poverty around the world. She indicated that renewable energy targets existed in at least 118 countries in 2011, an increase from 96 in 2010.

Raffi Balian, US, described US engagement in renewable energy initiatives in West Africa, outlining work on: capacity building through the Global Bioenergy Partnership; promoting clean cookstoves and clean cooking fuels; public-private partnerships; appliance efficiency initiatives; and the US-Africa Clean Energy Finance Initiative announced at Rio+20.

Mario Tot, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), discussed energy policy tools to support ECOWAS members in preparing renewable energy action plans, which he said are essential for the development of effective energy supplies and access. He described IAEA’s energy assessment tools, emphasizing that capacity building must encompass a set of activities comprising a whole package and providing continual support.


This session took place on Monday morning and was chaired by Youba Sokona, Coordinator, Africa Climate Policy Centre. Armand Darkehoun, Director for Energy, Benin, presented the draft ECOWAS Renewable Energy Policy, Targets and Action Plan, which he said aims to address the region’s energy crisis and achieve universal energy access by 2030. He also described the draft ECOWAS Energy Efficiency Policy, Targets and Action Plan, which he stated should see energy efficiency double by 2020.

Martin Lugmayr, ECREEE-UNIDO expert, on behalf of Mahama Kappiah, Executive Director, ECREEE, presented the ECOWAS Small-Scale Hydro Power (SSHP) Program aiming to promote markets and investments to enable increased SSHP uptake. He said the 2013-2018 phase will cost €15.5 million and will promote the development and construction of a pipeline of SSHP projects. He said ECREEE has identified over 400 SSHP sites in cooperation with its national focal institutions.

Sékou Oumar Traoré, Director of Centre National de l’ Energie Solaire et des Energies Renouvelables (CNESOLER), Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Resources, Mali, described the ECOWAS Bioenergy Strategy Framework, stressing the need for a transition from traditional to modern biomass. He highlighted the importance of knowledge transfer and sharing, capacity building, funding mechanisms and the development of detailed strategic frameworks and planning.

Abraão Andrade Lopes, former Director of Energy, Cape Verde, highlighted his country’s goal of sourcing 100% of its energy supply from renewables by 2020. Describing Cape Verde’s economic and energy situation, he underscored the significant potential for wind, solar, geothermal and sea wave energy generation and outlined the economic rationale for developing these resources.

Imamuddeen Talba, Senior Energy Advisor, Federal Ministry of Power, Nigeria, described renewable energy prospects in his country, the development of a national renewable energy policy framework and challenges being faced. He highlighted the need for partnerships, information generation, and consultations.


On Monday afternoon, participants gathered in six parallel workshops on ECOWAS renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives, including on promoting efficient lighting and cookstoves, distribution efficiency and infrastructure investment, civil society engagement, and the ECOWAS Observatory for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.

Workshop on the ECOWAS Initiative on Energy Efficient Lighting: Ibrahim Soumaila, ECREEE, welcomed participants to the workshop, stressing the need for integration and the creation of a roadmap for taking next steps.

Workshop Chair A. K. Ofosu Ahenkorah, Executive Secretary Director of Ghana’s Energy Commission, stated that significant energy and economic savings can be achieved through the use of efficient lighting and that the session was to produce a joint statement on efficient lighting. Describing successes in Ghana in introducing minimum energy efficiency standards for lighting, he stressed the importance of phasing out incandescent lamps.

Zura Nukusheva, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), described tools for transitioning Western African countries to more efficient lighting. Describing the economic and development benefits of modern efficient lighting, she noted that while a significant number of countries are planning the phase-out of inefficient incandescent lamps, few African countries have such plans in place. She said UNEP aims to, inter alia: facilitate a global agreement to phase out inefficient lamps by 2016; harmonize and promote minimum energy performance standards; and function as a global centre of excellence and global best practices. Nukusheva emphasized that transition to efficient lighting can best be achieved via an integrated approach addressing minimum energy performance standards, supporting policies, monitoring, verification and enforcement, and environmentally sound management.

Michael Scholand, UNEP, provided an overview of the ECOWAS Initiative on Energy Efficient Lighting, focusing on the need for nationally appropriate and contextually driven actions that build on existing work in the region. Scholand said the Initiative aims to leverage regional best practices and use an integrated approach to make lighting activities sustainable through policy measures, capacity building, awareness raising and financing.

Participants discussed progress in Nigeria, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Benin, Burkina Faso and Ghana. They highlighted: problems caused by product and architectural designs which contradict energy efficiency principles; the role of carbon credits; the use of solar lanterns; and adoption of decrees banning the use of inefficient lamps. Participants then debated challenges such as monitoring and enforcement, lack of recycling capacities, properly disposing of compact fluorescent bulbs containing mercury, the need for product labeling, a lack of interest from energy producers to encourage energy efficiency, and the need for solutions for dealing with old incandescent lamps.

Chair Ahenkorah presented, and participants agreed to, a draft joint statement from the workshop, which resolves that ECOWAS countries, inter alia: initiate a full transition to efficient lighting following an integrated policy approach; promote education, institutionalization and legislation; and by 2016 have policies phasing out incandescent lights by 2020.

ECOWAS Initiative on Safe, Sustainable and Affordable Cooking Energy: This session was chaired by Rose Mensah-Kutin, ENERGIA Network.

Mahama Kappiah, ECREEE, presented the concept and roadmap of the ECOWAS Initiative on Efficient, Affordable and Sustainable Cooking. He explained that the Initiative, which especially targets women most at risk of illnesses related to indoor air pollution from cooking, aims to ensure 100% of the West African population has access to clean, sustainable and safe cooking energy by 2030. He said from 2013-2016 the estimated costs for short-term actions will be €7.6 million, and an additional €100 million will be needed through 2020 to accelerate uptake. Responding to questions from participants, Kappiah said ECREEE is coordinating its actions with national energy ministries and GEF focal points, but not environment ministries. He lamented that although some project funding could come from ECOWAS, it is unlikely that most ECOWAS countries can afford to allocate national funding to the Initiative.

Radha Muthiah, Global Alliance for Clean Cook Stoves, described her organization’s efforts to bring clean cookstoves to 100 million households by 2020 by creating a market-based approach to enabling demand and providing affordable clean cooking options. She said the Alliance is technology neutral and that there is no one perfect stove. Muthiah explained her organization provides capacity building and funding of entrepreneurs and contributes to the creation of standards for clean, safe stoves.

Mireille Affoudji, German Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), presented clean cookstove projects undertaken in Senegal, including one on valuing forests for more than just fuelwood. She focused on the value of market-based approaches and described Senegal’s success in working with local craftspeople to produce stoves domestically, and underlined the potential to replicate this in other contexts.

Alain Guinebault, Geres, said his non-governmental organization’s (NGO) work on energy is based on self-developed technologies and techniques customized to local conditions, and said Geres has distributed millions of stoves without subsidies or other assistance. Guinebault indicated that the €100 million investment ECOWAS is planning for ECREEE’s Initiative will be challenging to mobilize. He emphasized Geres’ work with local government and the need for other NGOs to work more with governments.

Debajit Palit, The Energy Resources Institute (TERI), said there are hard and soft issues related to “improved” stoves. He highlighted that important value chain links between technology developers and those that distribute them on the ground are often forgotten. He said TERI has been working on distributing combined clean heating and lighting units in Ethiopia and would be happy to do so in ECOWAS countries. Palit stressed the urgent need for international harmonization of cookstove testing and certification systems.

Workshop on the ECOWAS Observatory for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECOWREX): David Vilar, ECREEE, chaired the workshop.

Jafaru Abdulrahman, ECREEE, said ECOWREX could be the gateway to West Africa’s energy poverty solution. He noted that ECOWREX was developed by ECREEE in partnership with UNIDO, Austria and Spain under the umbrella of the GEF SPWA and, explaining the objectives and strategies of the Observatory, he stated that it uses statistical and geographical information on natural renewable energy resources together with socioeconomic data from each ECOWAS member country to assist in planning and carrying out renewable energy strategies. He highlighted the value of this type of information for energy promoters, investors and policy makers. He also noted that the Observatory uses tools such as Linked Open Data together with The Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), the World Bank, and others to ensure it serves as a source of knowledge diffusion and innovation.

David Vilar, ECREEE, highlighted that while the long-term goal and priority of the Observatory is to benefit ECOWAS countries, its assistance can only be helpful if its data are accurate. He said that for this reason, the task of collecting data from member states is critical. Pradeep Monga, UNIDO, noted his organization’s work with ECREEE on promoting knowledge management and bringing key stakeholders together, using ECOWREX as a key resource.

Workshop on High Performance Distribution of Electricity: Chair Algai Basiru Gaye, ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority, noted that electricity distribution losses range from 15-40% of the power generated in West Africa. He stressed that these losses have significant impacts on service and domestic productivity, resulting in losses of up to 2% of GDP.

Mahama Kappiah, ECREEE, described the ECOWAS Initiative on High Performance Distribution of Electricity. Noting that power supplies in West Africa are generally insufficient for demand and revenues are often insufficient to cover costs, he outlined solutions such as correctly sizing power lines and transformers, and reducing commercial losses through technical and organizational solutions such as the use of prepaid meters and the regular reading of meters. Kappiah called for political support through the setting of appropriate tariffs and establishment the of performance contracts for utilities. He then charted the way forward for the Initiative, including focusing on country evaluations, benchmarking to identify problems, and the exchange of best practices. He underscored the need for collaboration with private sector and international partners.

Bruno Leclerc, Agence Française de Développement, emphasized additional consequences of losses in distribution including the repercussions on the entire energy sector and noted the need for credible plans to reduce losses and means to attract private investors. He stressed the importance of: improving management capacities of distribution companies; better training and capacity building; and effective regulation and transparency.

During the ensuing discussions, participants raised issues concerning the role of regulators in the ECOWAS Initiative, capacity issues, the need for standard procedures to eliminate inefficiencies, better load management and integration, the consideration of distribution challenges in land-use planning, the security of electricity supply in Ghana, the importance of strategic planning, the need to prioritize the provision of energy to people in rural areas as well as the use of innovative solutions for providing universal access to energy.

Workshop on the ECOWAS Initiative on Financing Sustainable Energy: Chair John Wasielewski, Development Finance Advisor, US, opened the session by saying there are no easy answers to the many financing questions facing developing countries on energy.

Hyacinth Elayo, ECREEE, presented the concept and roadmap of the ECOWAS Initiative on Financing Sustainable Energy. He said once operational, the Initiative’s core tasks will be to: create teaching materials; provide training and assistance with financial engineering and other financial matters; increase the volume of funding of the ECOWAS Renewable Energy Facility (EREF); and facilitate the operationalization of the ECOWAS Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Investment and Business Initiative.

Lawrence Agbemabiese, UNEP, presented the experience of the Rural Energy Enterprise Development (REED) project, which aims to expand access to affordable and climate friendly energy services and increase local economic activity in Africa without harming the environment. He explained that its focus is to fill capacity gaps that prevent small businesses from accessing financing. He said over 500 entrepreneurs have received enterprise development training, and that 31 of these also received investment under the project. He explained that the US$2 million invested to date has seen over 2 million households benefit from improved energy services, with over 1 million of these served by Toyola cookstoves alone.

Martin Lugmayr, ECREEE-UNIDO, described the EREF, which makes grants available for small-scale projects and businesses in peri-urban and rural areas to create knowledge for capacity-building activities. He explained that the first financing window of the EREF funded entrepreneurs at the pre-investment and project development stages. He said the second window would finance development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and energy service companies (ESCOs). He highlighted that financing for the 41 projects has successfully leveraged an average of 68% in additional funding from other sources.

Andreas Karner, ConPlusUltra GmbH, presented a study commissioned by the Austrian Development Agency comparing small-scale “innovative responsible finance” mechanisms focusing on ecological, economic, and social sustainability. He said these mechanisms included community banking, leasing, micro franchising, revolving funds, equity for SMEs, microloans, and term finance, all of which provide financing to final beneficiaries. He said new financial schemes in ECOWAS have the potential to strengthen renewable energy production and efficiency. He made a number of recommendations, including for governments to: cooperate with local finance institutions to finance local solutions; develop financing tools with local finance institutions; only use experienced financial institutions as partners; and ensure financing methods avoid poverty traps for poor clients.

François Greaume, French Agency for Environment and Energy Management (ADEME), discussed his organization’s work in West Africa, which focuses on institutional and legislation enforcement, energy management, pilot projects and demonstrations, public-private partnership (PPPs), mobilization of international financing, and facilitating cooperation. He described projects on energy efficiency in buildings in Morocco and on solar energy in Tunisia.

Demba Diop, energy consultant, described the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Facility for Promoting Bioenergy in West Africa. He then discussed agri-residues and municipal bi-product bioenergy investments.

David Vilar, ECREEE, described the ECOWAS Renewable Energy Investment Facility (EREIF), which promotes medium to large-scale renewable energy infrastructure projects. He explained that its main activities include: fostering and endorsing investment to promote renewable energy infrastructure projects; facilitating execution of renewable energy investment projects; linking stakeholders involved in financing and development of renewables infrastructure; decreasing investor and developer misconceptions about renewables; creating links between developers and financial partners; and becoming a meeting point for stakeholders.

Vanessa Laubin, Geres, talked about the difficulties surrounding Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) projects and carbon financing in the African context. She highlighted three barriers to African participation in the Clean Development Mechanism: intricate methodologies; high initial investments requirements; and the complexity of analyzing carbon cycles, for which expertise generally does not exist in Africa.

Workshop on the contribution of the civil society and private sector to reach SE4ALL in the ECOWAS region: This workshop was chaired by Caroline Nijland, Foundation Rural Energy Services (FRES). The workshop sought to identify how civil society and the private sector can concretely contribute towards enhanced access and up‐scaling of energy services to rural populations in the ECOWAS region, with an emphasis on off‐grid electrification. Participants highlighted successful experiences regarding the delivery of modern sustainable energy services followed by discussions in groups. Participants recommended that: NGOs and private sector build partnerships to employ successful least-cost technologies and business models; NGOs and the private sector be represented on regulatory boards and in governmental energy agencies; and increased numbers of PPPs on energy access and energy poverty are needed.     


On Tuesday 30 October, Kandeh Yumkella, UNIDO, lamented that least developed countries (LDCs) are often unable to access funds for energy projects, but said regional programmes can help. Stressing the importance of taking a strategic approach, he described the work of the GEF SPWA, noting that it has helped to leverage US$468 million in co-financing. He outlined challenges including the time it takes to prepare energy project proposals, difficulties for LDCs in obtaining co-financing and problems in scaling-up projects.

Irene Giner-Reichl, GFSE, emphasized the importance of regional and strategic programmatic approaches and of ensuring policies are integrated and do not stand alone. She reiterated that geographic and thematic policy integration is key.

André Laperrière, GEF, stressed the importance of working together to achieve results. Noting that a significant amount of GEF funds allocated for energy initiatives in West Africa remain unspent, he urged countries to work together to propose projects. He highlighted the value of small projects, the importance of consultation within governments, and the benefits of bilateral cooperation regarding the utilization of transboundary resources.

Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Environment, Science and Technology of Ghana, emphasized that African states must move from doing pilot projects to doing major projects. She said as energy supplies are increased, policies need to be put in place to ensure access, affordability, appropriate technology and reliability of supply, as well as mechanisms for environmental assessment. She stressed the need to explore new policy options for generating sustainable energy from biomass and underscored the importance of energy for socioeconomic development.

Mahama Kappiah, ECREEE, then introduced the issues to be discussed throughout Tuesday, including the contribution of the GEF SPWA to energy access and energy security and translating energy policies into action.


This session took place on Tuesday and was co-chaired by André Laperrière, GEF, and Pradeep Monga, UNIDO.

Franck Jesus, GEF, described the GEF SPWA, noting that the Programme aims to be action-oriented, practical and assist in scaling-up investments. He described the wide range of projects and significant increases in GEF funding for energy projects in West Africa. He highlighted the value of bundling projects to attract investors, the need for a long-term vision, lasting project impacts, and more transnational projects. He highlighted the need to attract more private investment and to scale-up cookstove projects.

Noting milestones under the GEF SPWA, Monga reviewed challenges including: lack of prior familiarization with GEF projects; the need for strengthening policy and regulatory frameworks; difficulties achieving economies of scale and mobilization of co-financing; inadequate capacities within national and regional institutions; investment risks and uncertainties for the private sector; and insufficient information and data. Monga discussed key deliverables and next steps including: the finalization and adoption of regional renewables and energy efficiency policies; promotion of standards for lighting, appliances, and buildings; capacity building; awareness-raising and advocacy; and strengthening knowledge management. He highlighted the need for: annual steering committee meetings and annual ministerial meetings; documentation of lessons learned and best practices; strengthening of regional and national level policy and institutional linkages; knowledge management promotion; and the strengthening of partnerships, regional cooperation and synergies.

Jafaru Abdulrahman, ECREEE, reiterated the objectives of ECOWREX and noted that it uses over 280 indicators per country for a total of over 4,000 reliable indicators updated per annum for use by investors and policy makers. In response to questions from participants, he noted that significant effort is going into ensuring consistency of indicators across national contexts.

During the ensuing discussion, participants raised issues concerning the details of co-financing, lack of ECOWAS member country knowledge of availability of GEF financing, how to access resources, the role of implementing agencies in mobilizing co-financing, the inclusion of women in strategic planning, the need to upscale manufacturing of renewable energy generation equipment, the principle of subsidiarity, and the possibility of regional borrowing.

The session then heard presentations on the status of projects and lessons learned from GEF projects.

Benoit Lebot, UNDP, described joint UNDP-GEF projects in Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Senegal, which combined will avoid a total of over 2 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. He lamented that climate change related national focal points are mostly in environment ministries, although those who can impact climate change most are in the ministries of energy, finance, transport and others. He closed by highlighting a new GEF-UNDP publication titled “Transforming On-Grid Renewable Energy Markets: A Review of UNDP-GEF Support for Feed-in Tariffs and Related Price and Market-Access Instruments.”

Lawrence Agbemabiese, UNEP, described a UNEP-GEF project in Côte d’Ivoire promoting energy efficiency in public lighting.

Alois Mhlanga, UNIDO, discussed nine GEF-SPWA projects in West Africa that have been granted US$16.2 million from GEF funds and have raised US$65 million in co-financing. He said these projects aim to: strengthen and operationalize policy and regulatory frameworks; ensure continued engagement of stakeholders post-project; consolidate capacity building in local and national institutions; forge enduring PPPs to scale-up impacts; and link projects to global initiatives and programmes such as ECREEE and SE4ALL.

During the ensuing discussion, participants asked what ECREEE is doing to improve regulatory drive amongst member countries, and a representative from the Gambia noted that in the Gambian context, climate change issues are handled not by the environment ministry, but by a committee of 35 decision makers from various ministries, the private sector, and civil society. Another participant sparked a discussion on the importance of recycling appliances being replaced for energy efficiency reasons.


Deepak Gupta, former Secretary of Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, chaired this session, which took place on Tuesday. Gupta provided insights on successfully transitioning policies into action, stressing the need for off-grid power generation targets, prioritization of biomass and small hydro projects, replication of successful biomass projects and capacity building.

Nicolas Lambert, European Commission, Energy Unit of DG Development Cooperation, outlined the framework, objectives and implementation modalities of the EU-African Caribbean and Pacific (EU-ACP) Energy Facility. He said the Facility focuses on: access to energy services using a pro-poor perspective; promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency using local resources and decentralized solutions; productive use of energy beyond basic services; coherence; and private sector engagement. Lambert said the Facility’s next call for proposals will be launched on 15 November 2012.

Philippe Niyongabo, African Union Commission, outlined the activities of the African-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP), focusing on, inter alia, solar, wind, geothermal, bioenergy, and hydroelectric power development. Noting political targets for energy security, development of renewable energy sources, and energy efficiency, he described significant potential for progress in Africa and the need for infrastructure development. Wolfgang Moser, Austrian Ministry for European and International Affairs, presented the outcomes of the 2010 high-level meeting of AEEP Energy Ministers, describing successes in attaining the meeting’s goals and the leveraging of €1.6 billion in financing.

Philip Mann, EU Energy Initiative-Partnership Dialogue Facility (EUEI-PDF), discussed the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Partnership (RECP), explaining it focuses on developing meso-scale renewable energy markets, providing a framework of integrated instruments, ensuring flexibility, and facilitating partnerships. He highlighted the Partnership’s four primary action areas: policy advisory services; private sector cooperation; project preparation and finance facilitation; and technology, innovation and capacity building.

Hugo Lucas, Director of Capacity Building, IRENA, described IRENA’s work: on the promotion of national renewable energy policies and incentive schemes in ECOWAS; job creation; lending for photovoltaic (PV) projects; entrepreneurship; education; energy planning; and communications.

Reidar Grevskott, Counselor for Environment and Climate Affairs in West Africa, Norway, presented on Energy+, the International Energy and Climate Initiative, which he said is a country-driven programme aiming to support transformational change to achieve universal access to energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He said it uses a sectoral approach to using public funding to leverage commercial investments, risk mitigation and capacity building using a “cash on delivery” motto.

Torstein Indrebø, Secretary General, International Gas Union, explained that ECOWAS is rich in underutilized gas reserves. He said natural gas is the most environmentally friendly fossil fuel, emitting 47% less greenhouse gases than coal, while being only half the price of diesel.

Giovanni De Santi, European Commission, Institute for Energy and Transport, DG Joint Research Centre (JRC), presented the economic potential of renewables in Africa as set out in a report from the JRC titled “Renewable Energies in Africa,” which assesses resource potential and investigates opportunities for alleviating energy poverty continent-wide. He said an updated edition of this report would be published in January 2013, including changes brought about by rapidly decreasing PV costs. He noted that the JRC has signed cooperation agreements with both ECREEE and IRENA.


This session took place on Tuesday and was chaired by Martin Hiller, Director, REEEP, who expressed his frustration with the low rate of replication and scaling up of “model projects.”

Venkata Ramana Putti, World Bank, said achieving universal energy access is still 50 years away under a business-as-usual model, but indicated that the access deficit was reduced from approximately 1.4 billion people without access to modern energy services down to 1.14 billion in 2010. Putti described the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program’s (ESMAP) activities to promote energy access in West Africa, including the Africa Renewable Energy Access Program (AFREA), Lighting Africa, and the Africa Clean Cooking Energy Solutions (ACCES) programme, which will be launched on 16 November in Dakar, Senegal. 

John Wasielewski, US, said there has never been a better time to invest in energy in Africa. He said although US$48 billion annually is needed to achieve universal energy access by 2030, over US$37 billion is already being spent per year on dirty energy by the poor. He described the recently inaugurated US–Africa Clean Energy Finance Initiative, which is a US$20 million facility to provide funding for project development of SMEs needing US$50,000-US$1 million.

Daniel-Alexander Schroth, African Development Bank (AfDB), described AfDB’s work on SE4ALL and said AfDB will be investing US$20 billion in energy by 2030 and in doing so will leverage a planned US$80 billion in additional private and public resources. He said the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa, (SEFA), which is a US$50 million AfDB fund for SMEs, is looking to deepen cooperation with regional partners like ECREEE and is expanding into a multi-donor platform.

Robert Zeiner, Austrian Development Agency, discussed his country’s bilateral grant programmes related to sustainable energy in Africa, and announced a second phase of Austrian support of ECREEE. Moreover, he indicated that Austria is interested in funding feasibility studies for an ECREEE-type institution in the EAC and SADC.

Marisa Olano, Spanish Institute for Energy Diversification and Savings (IDAE), described the development of Spain’s renewable energy sector, energy efficiency policies and its contribution to the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) Initiative. She noted that under the CEM umbrella, IDAE has engaged in the creation of a global solar and wind atlas; capacity building activities; and studies on the economic value of renewable energy deployment.

Rana Ghoneim, UNIDO, discussed UNIDO’s work on developing an ECOWAS industrial energy efficiency policy and its utilization of energy management systems and system optimization to make energy efficiency a part of industrial working culture. She presented a case study from Burkina Faso where UNIDO is helping brewers improve cookstove efficiency by using new technologies, financing mechanisms, and the stimulation of market demand for improved cookstoves. She said this work could be scaled up in the food-processing sector throughout the ECOWAS region.

Participants then discussed technologies appropriate for Africa, costs of technology, and the Spanish experience in developing renewable energy generation and energy efficiency policies.


Chair Abeeku Brew-Hammond, Director of Energy Center, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), introduced the session that took place on Tuesday, and which saw the launch of five ECOWAS initiatives on energy efficiency.

Immamudeen Talba, Special Advisor to the Minister of Power, Nigeria, said the ECOWAS Initiative on Energy Efficiency Standards and Labelling aims to double energy efficiency in West Africa to levels comparable to those in developed countries and will require ECOWAS countries to realize energy savings of 4% annually by 2020. On energy efficiency labeling, Talba stated that such labels provide a powerful tool for market transformation by allowing consumers to make sound choices. He highlighted successful energy efficiency policies in Nigeria and officially launched the Initiative.

Omar Diagne, Senegalese Ambassador to Ghana, launched the ECOWAS Initiative on Energy Efficient Lighting, underlining the energy savings that can be generated by the use of efficient lamps. Noting policy initiatives in Senegal to phase-out the use of incandescent lamps, he emphasized the job creation potential, and environmental and economic benefits of implementing the ECOWAS Initiative.

Ibrahim Sani, Director General of Energy, Niger, discussed the challenges in West Africa of maintaining and expanding reliable energy supplies and the economic losses incurred by inefficient distribution. Noting that it is feasible to reduce power distribution losses to less than 10%, Sani asserted that high performance energy distribution is within reach and launched the ECOWAS Initiative on Achieving High Performance Distribution of Electricity.

Fatou Ndeye Gaye, Minister of Forestry and Environment, the Gambia, reiterated the health, safety and environmental hazards associated with traditional cooking methods. She said to mitigate these dangers, the ECOWAS Initiative on Safe, Sustainable and Affordable Cooking aims to ensure that all citizens of the ECOWAS region have access to clean, safe cookstoves by 2030. She described the partners and methods involved in moving forward, and closed by officially launching the Initiative.

Oluniyi Robbin-Coker, Minister of Energy and Water, Sierra Leone, said delivering energy is a high-cost venture and therefore the ECOWAS Initiative on Financing Sustainable Energy will be key to the success of all initiatives being launched. He explained that the Initiative would establish appropriate financial mechanisms and leverage financial support from ECOWAS member states and their partners to create opportunities for investment at all project stages. He continued by saying the Initiative will establish finance focal points in each member state to build national capacity on a range of issues including risk mitigation, formulating fair contracts, and fundraising. In closing, he officially launched the Initiative.

Chair Brew-Hammond concluded the session by reiterating that West Africa is resolved to play a leading role in the SE4ALL Initiative to make a difference in the lives of all ECOWAS member states’ citizens.


On Wednesday 31 October, participants convened in a morning ministerial session where regional policies to compliment the ECOWAS energy initiatives presented Tuesday, were presented and adopted by ministers.

This meeting was chaired by Oluniyi Robbin-Coker, Minister of Energy and Water, Sierra Leone. The opening address was delivered by M. Ebrima Njie, ECOWAS Commissioner for Infrastructure, who said the key to ECREEE’s success and the success of the ECOWAS policies to be adopted during this session will be to consolidate political will for their effective implementation. He then thanked the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme, Austria, Spain, UNIDO, USAID and GFSE for their support.

Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, Deputy Minister of Energy, Ghana, on behalf of Joe Oteng-Adjei, Minister for Energy, Ghana, reiterated Ghana’s commitment to achieving the SE4ALL targets and welcomed ministers to the meeting.

Armand Dakehoun, Ministry of Energy, Benin, presented Resolution 1 relating to the ECOWAS Renewable Energy Policy (EREP) and Resolution 2 relating to the ECOWAS Energy Efficiency Policy (EEEP). He explained that the EREP aims to improve safety and sustainability of energy supplies in the ECOWAS region, support socioeconomic development and end rural energy poverty. He outlined three groups of targets contained in the policy: grid-connected renewable energy; off-grid and stand-alone applications; and domestic renewables application. Dakehoun said the EEEP aims to double the annual improvement in energy efficiency in West Africa to approximately 4% via actions such as: phasing-out incandescent lamps and reducing losses in distribution to under 10% by 2020; achieving universal access to clean cooking solutions by 2030; and establishing an ECOWAS Technical Committee for Energy Efficiency Standards and Labelling and adopting accompanying standards and labels by the end of 2014.

In the ensuing discussion, Mahama Kappiah, ECREEE, explained that the policies are based on a year-long regional study and high-level consultations, and stated that although government revenues would be affected by reducing taxes and tariffs on sustainable energy equipment, the proposed policies have high-level endorsement. Chair Coker added that while initially duties could be lowered on final products, this should be eventually shifted to component parts, which could be assembled in West Africa, creating jobs. Participants suggested amendments to the renewable energy policy to include fuel wood reduction as a target, include solar thermal targets of the policy in the resolution, and create an ECOWAS fund for renewable energy and energy efficiency. Another participant suggested an amendment on the energy efficiency policy to specifically include building efficiency. Ministers then adopted the resolutions with the proposed amendments.

Final Resolution on the ECOWAS Energy Efficiency Energy Policy: The Resolution aims to raise energy efficiency in the ECOWAS region to international levels and as a consequence, free up 2,000 megawatts of power generation capacity by 2020. It aims to, inter alia: phase-out inefficient incandescent lamps by 2020; reduce average losses in electricity distribution from the current levels of 15-40% to below 10% by 2020; achieve universal access to safe, clean, affordable, efficient and sustainable cooking for the entire ECOWAS population by 2030; adopt region-wide standards and labels for major energy equipment by the end of 2014; and create instruments for financing sustainable energy, including carbon finance by the end of 2013. To achieve these objectives, the Resolution relies on implementation of the five ECOWAS initiatives launched at the Forum on: efficient lighting; distribution of electricity; safe, sustainable and affordable cooking; standards and labeling; and financing sustainable energy.

Final Resolution on the ECOWAS Renewable Energy Policy: The Resolution aims to contribute to the achievement of universal access to sustainable energy services in the ECOWAS region by 2030, with specific targets for: grid-connected renewable energy; decentralized renewable energy solutions; domestic applications; and regional manufacture of renewable energy equipment. To achieve these targets, the Resolution indicates the following will be implemented: frameworks to develop consistency between regional and national renewable energy policies; national renewable energy policies, implementation strategies, action plans and budgetary allocations; measures to attract renewable energy power and hardware production investors and entrepreneurs; capacity development for national officials and technicians to design implement and operate renewable energy applications; promotion of advocacy, awareness and knowledge management through the ECREEE Observatory; and the ECOWAS action plan on renewable energy policy.

Henry Kimber, Advisor to the Minister of Energy, Liberia, outlined the details of ECOWAS Resolution 3 relating to the ECOWAS Small Hydro Power Program. He said the Resolution invites national elaboration and adoption of policies and legal frameworks, capacity building to improve SSHP know-how, knowledge management and awareness raising to improve accessibility to information, and increased investment and business promotion in this area.

During the ensuing discussion on SSHP, participants suggested that water resource management considerations be incorporated, and that language making commitments conditional on securing funding should be omitted. Others suggested the need for adequate protection of biodiversity at hydropower sites and for language providing a framework that promotes hydropower development across national boundaries. Ministers then adopted the resolution as amended during the discussions.

Final Resolution on the ECOWAS Small Hydro Power Program: The Resolution aims to achieve the following objectives by 2018: improved legal frameworks in at least six ECOWAS countries; integration of SSHP into country scenarios, planning documents and budgetary allocations; national initiatives and projects relying on local expertise; improvement of the quality of SSHP project proposals and feasibility studies; to make SSHP-related publications available on the ECREEE website; at least 36 additional SSHP projects developed per year; and at least 10 companies established to provide SSHP-related services.

To achieve these objectives, the following activities will be executed: the national elaboration and adoption of policies and legal frameworks; the creation of quality guidelines and capacity building conducted to improve SSHP know-how; knowledge management and awareness raising to improve accessibility to information for SSHP development; and increased investment and business promotion leading to planning, implementation and sustainable operation of SSHP projects and the development of local industry.

Ahmed Sanogo, Deputy Director of Energy, Ministry of Energy, Mali, presented ECOWAS Resolution 4 relating to the ECOWAS Bioenergy Strategy Framework. He said the Framework aims to enhance sustainable bioenergy production and use in West Africa to help address energy poverty, promote food security, safeguard the environment, and enable investment. He said implementation of the Framework would be premised on resource assessment and planning, policy and strategy development, knowledge sharing, capacity building, and the development of financing mechanisms and resource mobilization tools.

On bioenergy, participants highlighted further issues that should be emphasized in the Resolution. These included: local knowledge development; the need for the development of synergies among power sources; the use of agricultural waste; the need for energy resource mapping; the use of a multi-facilitative approach; NGO engagement; the use of regional frameworks; and the development of bioenergy guidelines. Ministers then adopted the resolutions as amended during the discussions.

Final Resolution on the ECOWAS Bioenergy Strategy Framework: The Resolution aims to enhance sustainable bioenergy production and use in West Africa to help address energy poverty, promote food security, safeguard the environment, and enable investments.

To achieve these objectives, the following activities will be executed: assessments of resources, mapping and cataloguing and sharing experiences; policies and strategies development for bioenergy products and services; knowledge dissemination and awareness creation; capacity building for relevant public and private institutions and agencies to provide the necessary human resources for technology transfer and employment creation; and financing mechanisms and resources mobilization to assist the deployment of sustainable bioenergy products and services.


This session took place on Wednesday and was moderated by Irene Giner-Reichl, GFSE.

Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo, ECOWAS President, underlined the value of the Forum as an opportunity to agree on a regional framework for action. Noting the enormous renewable energy resources in the region, he expressed concern that less than 30% of West Africans have access to electricity and that most energy in the region is generated from biomass and fossil fuels. He highlighted the importance of the SE4ALL targets, stating that expanding the use of renewable energy and improving energy efficiency are essential. Ouedraogo commended the work of ECREEE and the adoption of the ECOWAS resolutions on renewables and energy efficiency at the Forum, stating that the Forum represents another milestone in the common resolve to have a cleaner more sustainable future for generations.

Claude Maerten, Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation to Ghana, applauded the giant steps being taken by ECOWAS to improve energy access and security, economic growth and protection of the environment. He commended the adoption of the ECOWAS energy efficiency and renewable energy resolutions, expressed the EU’s support and described its financial contributions. He emphasized that the time for talking is over and that the focus must now be on turning words into deeds.

Kandeh Yumkella, Director General of UNIDO, presented a message from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. He stressed the need for strong partnerships to ensure the achievement of the SE4ALL targets. Noting ECOWAS’ success in moving SE4ALL forward, he said a long road remains ahead. Reviewing the SE4ALL goals, he stressed the need for bold policies, strong support and cooperation. He stressed that ECREEE is the natural focal institution for implementing the SE4ALL initiative in West Africa and said that working together we can create the future we want and the future our children deserve.

Victor James Gbeho, Advisor on Foreign Relations for the Government of Ghana, presented a message from John Dramani Mahama, President of Ghana. Emphasizing the importance of energy issues, he said West Africans must break away from the energy constraints stunting economic growth in the region. He underlined that as Ghana grows economically, energy demand is increasing and must be satisfied. Noting Ghana’s targets to increase energy production and achieve universal access to energy by 2016, he stressed the need for the use of a range of energy sources to achieve these goals and for partners across the region to collectively work together.

Oluniyi Robbin-Coker, Minister of Energy and Water, Sierra Leone, presented the Eleventh Meeting of ECOWAS Energy Ministers Final Communiqué. In the Communiqué, Ministers express their commitment to improve energy security and increase access to modern energy services through the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. He stated that in the Communiqué, the Ministers adopt the ECOWAS renewable energy and energy efficiency resolutions developed at the Forum and recommends their adoption by the ECOWAS Council of Ministers and the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government. He said it also directs the ECOWAS Commission to mobilize necessary resources to ensure that ECREEE plays a leading role in the implementation of SE4ALL in West Africa.


This session took place on Wednesday afternoon and was moderated by Irene Giner-Reichl, GFSE, and chaired by Kandeh Yumkella, UNIDO.

Michael Linhart, Austria, explained Austria’s interest in supporting ECREEE as stemming from its own success with renewables, and said that it is time to look for PPPs and other ways to bring in financing to the region.

Olga Cabarga, Ambassador of Spain to Ghana, said that Spain’s commitment to ECREEE comes from Spain’s desire to promote sustainable development in the region, its belief that this development must come from Africans, and its determination to see countries develop in a carbon poor but biodiversity rich manner.

Frédéric Clavier, Ambassador of France to Ghana, said this day marks a new era in West African development history, stating that the pursuit of a new model of development based on green energy and poverty eradication is a commendable contribution to the SE4ALL Initiative. He stressed the need and value of fostering additional private investment in energy infrastructure, but emphasized this cannot come to fruition without continued and visible political will and determination. He said if this happens, West Africa would become a true model for energy reform around the world.

Venkata Ramana Putti, World Bank, said the two key words illustrating what SE4ALL needs to succeed are “innovation” and “scale-up.” He explained that innovation must be not only technological, but financial and institutional as well, focusing particularly on ways to facilitate technology transfer.

André Laperrière, Deputy CEO, GEF, said GEF is interested in West Africa because of the region’s current dependence on non-sustainable energy and its potential for change. He stressed that for GEF, project design should be the most important indicator of success, but that even well-designed projects are dependent upon policies that foster them. He noted high tariffs on sustainable energy products are a major barrier for would-be successful projects.

Amadou Zakou, Manager, Energy Sector North West and Central Africa, AfDB, lamented challenges AfDB faces in finding adequate partners for PPPs to leverage investments and ensure the long lives of projects. He added that adequate institutional and regulatory partners willing to move progressively on energy infrastructure and provision have often historically also been absent.

Frank Wouters, Deputy Director-General, IRENA, stressed that SE4ALL goals are achievable for ECOWAS due to the abundance of renewable resources in West Africa, and rapidly dropping prices of renewables, and especially of PV products, which saw a 60% drop in price from 2010-2011 and another 50% drop from 2011-2012. Waters said Germany installed enough PV on rooftops alone to replace three large power plants, and said this is evidence that a decentralized energy revolution is possible in Africa. He said early next year IRENA would publish a large study on all the work it has done in Africa.

Maria Tekuelve, Head of Development Cooperation, German Embassy in Ghana, announced that the German government will be supporting ECREEE’s Initiative on Safe, Sustainable and Affordable Cooking Energy with €100,000 to carry out a regional stakeholder meeting for clean, sustainable and affordable cooking energy in 2013.

In his closing remarks, Kandeh Yumkella highlighted key messages from the proceedings. He emphasized that African countries must replicate the reforms of the African telecommunications sector and vastly broaden the reach of energy services. He said this will require political leadership, policy reform, partnerships and prices that allow widespread access to energy. He stressed the need to: reform and unbundle African utility companies to facilitate investment; focus on “converting commitments into kilowatt hours on the ground” through the scaling-up of projects; leverage investments; and localize the production of renewable energy and energy efficiency products. Yumkella commended the adoption of the ECOWAS Resolutions as they delineate a roadmap for success and illustrate that West Africans “know what they want” and how to get there. Yumkella officially closed the Forum at 5:17 pm.


CIF Partnership Forum 2012: The Climate Investment Funds (CIF) Partnership Forum is an annual gathering of all stakeholders interested in the development of the CIF, to review work done and discuss further areas for action. The event will be co-hosted by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.  dates: 6-7 November 2012  location: Istanbul, Turkey  contact: Climate Investment Funds  phone: +1 202 458 1801  e-mail:  www:  IISD/ENB coverage:

Renewable Energy World Africa 2012: Held simultaneously with Power-Gen Africa 2012, this conference aims to facilitate knowledge exchange and discussions on the power needs, resources and issues facing electricity generation in Sub-Saharan Africa throughout all sectors of society.  dates: 6-8 November 2012  location: Johannesburg, South Africa  contact: Amy Nash  phone: +44 1992 656 621   fax: +44 1992 656 735  e-mail:  www:

REEEP/NREL Open Data Workshop: This workshop, co-organized by REEEP and the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, will bring together providers of clean energy, energy efficiency, and climate data to discuss “linked open data” in the field of clean energy, and its use.  date: 12 November 2012   location: Washington DC, US  contact: Florian Bauer www:

World Energy Outlook 2012 Launch: The International Energy Agency (IEA) will launch its flagship publication, the World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2012, on 12 November at IEA Headquarters in Paris, France. The WEO-2012 will investigate specific strategic energy issues, including an in-depth examination of the value of improving energy efficiency; the increasing importance of the water-energy nexus; climate feedbacks on energy trends; and the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. date: 12 November 2012  location: Paris, France  contact: Paweł Olejarnik  phone: +33 1 40 57 67 57  e-mail:  www:

Fourth IRENA Council Meeting: The Council will bring together members of the Council and other IRENA Member States to discuss the work of the Council and its Administration and Finance, and Programme and Strategy Committees. dates: 12-13 November 2012  location: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates contact: IRENA Secretariat  phone: +971 2 4179000  e-mail:  www:

2012 Conference of Energy Ministers of Africa (CEMA): Held jointly with the Second All-Africa Energy Week, the 2012 CEMA is being held under the theme “Renewable Energy for Sustainable Development: From potential to infrastructure and services.” dates: 12-16 November 2012  location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia  contact: Phillippe Niyongabo  phone: +251 911 630 631  e-mail:  www:

Second All-Africa Energy Week (AAEW): Held jointly with the second regular session of the African Union Conference of Energy Ministers of Africa and sharing its theme, the AAEW will comprise of thematic sessions, including “stepping up hydropower development for regional integration,” “solar energy viability in Africa,” and “harnessing wind and geothermal potentials.” The AAEW will also host an investment forum and technology exhibition. dates: 12-16 November 2012  location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia contact: Phillippe Niyongabo  phone: +251 911 630 631  e-mail:  www:

GEF Council Meeting: The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Council meets twice per year to approve new projects with global environmental benefits in the GEF’s focal areas, and provide guidance to the GEF Secretariat and Agencies.  dates: 12-16 November 2012  venue: World Bank Headquarters  location: Washington D.C., US contact: GEF Secretariat  phone: +1 202 473 0508  fax: +1 202 522 3240  e-mail:  www:

3rd International Off-Grid Lighting Conference and Trade Fair: This event is organized by Lighting Africa, in collaboration with the Senegalese Agency for Rural Electrification. It will consist of: knowledge exchange sessions; a premiere off-grid lighting trade fair exhibition; business-to-business networking opportunities; the second Lighting Africa Outstanding Product Awards ceremony; and topical side events focusing on specific issues. dates: 13-15 November 2012  venue: King Fahd Palace  location: Dakar, Senegal  contact: Judy Siegel  phone: 1+ 703 464-0561  e-mail:  www:

Seventh Southern African Energy Efficiency Convention (SAEEC): The SAEEC, organized by the Southern African Association for Energy Efficiency and endorsed by the REEEP, aims to bring together stakeholders to discuss economic and market trends, new technologies, and regulatory developments related to energy efficiency.  dates: 14-15 November 2012  venue: Emperors Palace, Convention Centre  location: Gauteng, South Africa  contact: Erika Kruger  phone: +27 18 290 5130  e-mail:  www:

Global South-South Development (GSSD) Expo 2012: The GSSD Expo is being hosted by UNIDO and co-organized with the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation (SU-SSC), a part of UNDP. It will focus on the theme “Energy and Climate Change: Inclusive Partnerships for Sustainable Development.”  dates: 19-23 November 2012  location: Vienna, Austria  contact: Special Unit for South-South Cooperation  phone: +1 212 906 6944  fax: +1 212 906 6429  e-mail: www:

UNFCCC COP 18: The 18th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 18) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the eighth session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, among other associated meetings, are scheduled to take place in Doha, Qatar.  dates: 26 November - 7 December 2012  location: Doha, Qatar  contact: UNFCCC Secretariat  phone: +49 228 815 1000  fax: +49 228 815 1999  e-mail:  www:

Fifth International Conference on Integration of Renewable and Distributed Energy Resources: This conference will bring together various stakeholders to discuss the latest political, economic and technical aspects related to the integration of renewable and distributed energy resources and smart grids. Presentations will focus on: policies, programmes and projects implemented at the national and international levels; technologies such as PV and wind energy; smart grid systems established on islands; and interactions between system operators, utilities, generators and governments.  dates: 4-6 December 2012   location: Berlin, Germany  contact: Britta Haseneder  phone: +49 941 296 88 37  fax: +49 941 296 88 17  e-mail: www:

International Conference on Energy and Urban Sustainability: Transforming Municipal Solid Waste into Energy: UN-HABITAT and the Municipality of Tehran, in collaboration with the International Arts and Architecture Research Association, are hosting an international conference on Sustainable Urban Energy to provide a platform for discussing innovations and best practices in sustainable urban energy, with a particular focus on biogas technology. dates: 12-13 December 2012  location: Tehran, Iran  contact: Fredrick Ochieng  e-mail:  www:

Third IRENA Assembly: The third session of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Assembly, will finalize institution-building issues, report on its progress to Member States, and renew its mandate on encouraging the global uptake of renewable energy. This event is part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW).  dates: 13-14 January 2013  location: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates  phone: +971 2 4179001  e-mail:  www:

Abu Dhabi International Renewable Energy Conference (ADIREC): ADIREC will bring together representatives from government, the private sector and civil society to discuss the advancement of renewable energy, and to analyze and highlight the achievements of the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Initiative. This event is part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW).  dates: 15-17 January 2013  location: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates  contact: Jonathan Skeen phone: +33 1 44 37 50 98  e-mail:  www:

World Future Energy Summit (WFES) 2013: WFES 2013 aims to bring together global leaders in policy, technology and business to discuss the state of the art, develop new ways of thinking and shape the future of renewable energy. This event is part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW).  dates: 15-17 January 2013  venue: The Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC)  location: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates  www:

Water Storage and Hydropower Development for Africa: This conference will address hydropower in Africa including: civil engineering; electromechanical equipment and engineering; water resources management; environmental and social aspects; and finance and economics. Supporting organizations include the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).  dates: 16-18 April 2013  venue: African Union Headquarters  location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia  contact: Margaret Bourke  phone: +44 20 8773 7244  fax: +44 20 8773 7255  e-mail:  www:

Fourth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM4): CEM4 will bring together ministers from more than 20 participating countries under the theme of “Technology and Business Innovation.” Topics that will be discussed include: progress by the 13 clean energy initiatives of CEM; enhancing cooperation between CEM governments; and the development of public-private partnerships to support clean energy development.  dates: 17-18 April 2013  location: New Delhi, India  contact: CEM Secretariat  www:

The Summary of the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) - Global Forum for Sustainable Energy (GFSE) - Global Environment Facility (GEF) - UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) High Level Energy Forum is a publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) <>, publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <>. This issue was written and edited by Aaron Leopold and Hugh Wilkins. The Digital Editor is Mike Muzurakis. The Editor is Melanie Ashton <>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <>. Funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE). IISD can be contacted at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada; tel: +1-204-958-7700; fax: +1-204-958-7710. The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in other publications with appropriate academic citation. Electronic versions of the Bulletin are sent to e-mail distribution lists (in HTML and PDF format) and can be found on the Linkages WWW-server at <>. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11D, New York, New York 10022, USA.