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The Department of Energy is responsible within the Commission for providing the technical expertise in Energy and for the design and implementation of technical projects for the region as decided by the President.
The department’s functions as enshrined in Article 28, Item 1 & 2 of the Revised ECOWAS Treaty is to ensure coordination and harmonization of Member States policies and programmes in the field of energy.

ECOWAS is working with member States and other development partners to improve Energy production, distribution and utilisation within the region; this is with a view to increasing energy services, especially support to Member states in the process of adherence to the sustainable energy initiative for all. Specifically, the Commission performed analytical studies on the gaps and the elaboration of the plans of action. The consultants entrusted with the task lent support to the member States with a view to ensuring the region’s total adherence to the process. Only recently an Experts meeting was convened in September to validate the studies and align the objectives of the White Paper to the Energy for All Initiative. Similarly, a training workshop on Gas and Access to Energy was convened in Abidjan in November 2013 with the support of UNIDO and the International Gas Association, mainly aimed at developing the capacities of the sectors’ stakeholders.

In 2013 the emergency electrical energy supply programme of Conakry was fully implemented and three other emergency programmes adopted, namely (i) the emergency programme for electrical energy supply to Grand Banjul, (ii) the emergency programme for the supply of electrical energy to Freetown and (iii) the special Programme for Mali.

Following a financing request submitted to ECOWAS by the Gambia, Mali and Sierra Leone seeking support for their distressing electricity supply problem, these requests were analysed by evaluation missions fielded to those countries and successively adopted by the 10th meeting of Energy Ministers and the Council of Ministers. The Commission, thus, made a budget allocation of US$108 million for these programmes as follows:

– The Gambia for electricity supply to Banjul: 24.8 million Euros (US$31.90 million). This project relates to the rehabilitation and maintenance of the means of production, purchase of fuel, NAWEC and Ministry of Energy capacity building, capacity, reparation, implementation, supervision and monitoring-evaluation;
– Mali for fuel and the rehabilitation of the means of production and electricity networks of the liberated zones; and
– Sierra Leone: US$21.80 million: The project comprises the current maintenance aspect of the power plant, purchase of fuel, purchase of pre-paid meters for revenue improvement, and urgent rehabilitation of the transport and electrical energy distribution network.

Besides the adoption of the three projects above, the 10th meeting of the Council of Energy Ministers held in May 2013, approved other projects in conformity with the decisions of the 42nd Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government.

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