ECOWAS Energy Ministers Agree on Regional Policies Targeting Energy Access and Energy Poverty

1 November 2012: The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) held a High Level Energy Forum Towards Sustainable Energy for All in West Africa, which was held around the theme “Paving the Way for Sustainable Energy for All in West Africa through Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.”

The forum, which took place from 29–31 October 2012, in Accra, Ghana, took place as part of the UN Secretary-General's Sustainable Energy For All (SE4ALL) Initiative. The Forum brought together 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. The meeting also hosted workshops on improving energy access and poverty in the region via energy efficiency, the introduction of both on-grid and decentralized, off-grid renewable energy, and the introduction of clean and safe cookstoves. In all sessions, the need for new and contextually appropriate financing mechanisms was highlighted.

The event was hosted by the Government of Ghana and co-organized by the Global Forum for Sustainable Energy (GSFE) and the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). [IISD RS Coverage] [IISD RS Summary]