AYV News May 24, 2023
The ECOWAS Energy and Mines Department has organised a regional workshop in Freetown to discuss the ECOWAS Energy Information System (EIS).
Defined as a combined set of techniques for the collection, recording, processing and dissemination of energy information, the EIS aims at providing current country-specific and regional consolidated data and information on all aspects of energy situation in West Africa (consumption, production, supply, sources of energy, flows, etc.). It facilitates sound regional energy policy formulation and long-term energy sector planning.
The workshop forms part of activities earmarked under the programme “Improving the Energy Governance in West Africa” (AGoSE-AO). It was set up within the framework of a cooperation agreement between the ECOWAS Commission, UEMOA and the European Union (EU) under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF).
It includes a component on the establishment of a regional energy information system.
ECOWAS Director for Energy and Mines, Mr. Morlaye Bangoura expressed gratitude to the organising committee and the ministry of energy for making the engagement possible.
He said energy plays a pivotal role in driving economic growth and development and also in improving the livelihood of the population and welfare. He added further that a credible, consistent, reliable and regularly updated Energy Information System provides data and information for better planning, design and monitoring of energy sector policies.
Mr. Bangoura said it is in this context that the ECOWAS Commission with the support of the European Union has put in place the ECOWAS Energy Systems within a framework called; ‘Improving Energy Governance in the ECOWAS region’.
He said: “The system provides, among other things, information on the region’s economic energy situation, economic and social indicators, energy infrastructure policies and regulatory information and carbon emissions.
“It is therefore a complete information platform which can be consulted by decision makers as well as the general public”.
He cited that during the Commission’s last meeting held, recommendations were made that member countries like Sierra Leone, take ownership of the system.
He said the workshop was the fourth in a series, with the first three held in Nigeria, Niger and Cote d’ivoire, adding that this year’s workshop in Freetown will engage in productive discussions, share best practices and learn from each other’s experiences.
He added that their goal is to enhance the collection, analysis and dissemination of energy statistics, ensuring that they align with international standards and methodologies.
He encouraged all participants to actively participate, exchange ideas and contribute to the fulfillment of the deliberation that will lie ahead.
“Together we can build robust energy statistics that will facilitate evidence-based decision making, attract investment and promote sustainable energy development in our region”, he said, concluding with a firm commitment for ECOWAS to work in close collaboration with its member states to sustain this system and transform it into a reference tool for the region.
Representative from Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Energy highlighted the Medium-term Development Plan’s key policy actions, which he said encompasses a range of energy priorities.
“These priorities include enhancing generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure, investing in local renewable technologies, improving energy governance, promoting women’s involvement in renewable energy development, extending electrification to rural communities and expanding the national grid to remote areas” he informed.
He emphasised that the workshop will facilitate resource allocation and enable comprehensive planning for energy projects, whiles also ensuring efficient delivery and implementation.
He said Sierra Leone stands to gain from the supervision and implementation of its energy project, which aims to provide modern energy access to all segments of the population and ensure sustainable development through energy security, concluding that at the end of the workshop, the country will possess the capability to effectively collect, organise and manage energy data.
Head of the Electricity Generation Transmission Company, Ing. David Kamara said the relevance of adequate and accurate data collection in any human activity cannot be overemphasised, adding that it is particularly so for the energy sector.
He said energy plays a key role in virtually every human activity and that in any project development, if the data is wrong, everything could go wrong as well.
Ing. Kamara said they are presently reviewing pre-feasibility studies done by the Millennium Challenge Social Programme for possible energy programmes for their intervention.
He added that the project preparation in the energy sector is becoming more complicated and comprehensive, and so it is very good that the ECOWAS is assisting such programmes.
He registered his hopes that at the end of the programme, they will be better informed about what is happening elsewhere and also better considerations, key processes in first identifying issues in the energy sector and how to collect data in order to prepare projects and programmes to address those issues.