The ECOWAS’ Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) Regional training workshop to reinforce the knowledge and skills of enterprenuers in the economic bloc has opened in Accra.
The four-day event, which is geared towards creating the enabling environment for the uptake of renewable energy and energy efficiency in the region, attracted about 40 enterprenuers from ECOWAS region and beyond.
Over the past year, ECREEE, under the institution’s Regional Off-Grid Electrification Project (ROGEP) aimed at providing access to reliable electricity through standalone solar systems, has been organising events to facilitate efficient energy systems in 19 countries in the ECOWAS and Sahel regions, including Central African Republic and Cameroon.
The workshop, which is being supported by the World Bank, is part of a series of initiatives expected to ultimately translate to improved livelihood conditions of the inhabitants of these regions to empower men and women as they experience the positive impacts of accessing reliable energy services.
The training would expose the entreprenuers selected based on evidence of activities related to the training to ROGEP’s pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) solar technologies business models in order to achieve higher uptake in rural areas when the implementation stage of the first phase of the project takes off in January, 2019.
The participants of the training have been selected based on the evidence of activities related to the subject of the training.
Mahama Kappiah, ECREEE’s Executive Director, who addressed the participants at the opening, noted that through the efforts of ECOWAS and its partners, major progress was being made in the execution of the ROGEP project.
According to him, the low penetration rate of sustainable energy services in the region was as a result of the inter-related challenges of extreme poverty, under-development, vulnerability to climate change and gender inequities.
The ROGEP project, planned to be implemented over a six-year period, with funding from the World Bank and other partners would see the utilisation of some $600 million over project cycle.
The training programmes form part of the planning stages of the first phase of the project.
The project would be executed in three phases.
As a follow up to the training, ECREEE has scheduled two other events aimed at removing barriers to a viable regional energy market, as well as mitigating factors that hinder the implementation of regional strategies aimed at fostering socio-economic development, attracting foreign investment and providing basic social services for citizens of the region.
The activities include a Business-to-Business networking event to be held on June 25, 2018 in Accra.
From 26-27 June, 2018, ECREE’s second regional workshop on the ROGEP would also take place in Accra.