• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

19 African countries access Regional off-grid electricity

Off-grid energy space and what is possible in economy

Nineteen countries across Africa are set to benefit from the Regional Off-Grid Electricity Access Project (ROGEAP) from this month, a project designed to facilitate access to electricity for households, businesses, and schools across West, North and Central Africa.

The project seeks to increase access to sustainable electricity for households, businesses, government hospitals, and schools in communities across the 15 ECOWAS member countries and four other African countries through the use of stand-alone solar products and an entirely harmonised regional approach.
It is managed by a steering committee comprising representatives of the ECOWAS Commission, West African Development Bank and World Bank.

The ROGEP project was Launched in 2017, restructured and re-launched in November 2020 by ECOWAS and its Technical and Financial Partners.

Furthermore, the $338.7 million project is funded by the World Bank, Clean Technology Fund (CTF) and the Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS) of the Netherlands.

Read also: Osinbajo seeks global support against Military Coup in ECOWAS region

The ECOWAS Commission, through the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), and the West African Development Bank (BOAD) are responsible for the implementation of the project’s regional market development component and access to funding for stand-alone solar products component, respectively.

“This is a much-needed intervention for the region which currently has an electricity access rate of only 50 percent, with renewable energy forming only a fraction of its energy mix.

“Through ROGEAP, the legal, regulatory and institutional frameworks will be established and harmonised to encourage private businesses interested in developing off-grid electricity supply through solar products.” said a statement on the initiative.

The project will therefore support the grid-based Regional Electricity Access Project (ECOWAS-REAP), which is already underway with its Regional Implementation Unit within the Energy and Mines Department of the ECOWAS Commission.

It said, “At a cost of $690 million, the project covers Cote d’Ivoire, the Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo and Mauritania.”

According to ESI Africa, the two projects combined and the individual efforts of member states in terms of electrification, have placed the ECOWAS region on the right path towards attaining universal access to energy services by 2030 as advocated by the United Nations “Sustainable Energy for all SE4all” initiative.