1st Edition of the ECOWAS RE Investment and Business Forum

The first Edition of the ECOWAS RE Investment and Business Forum was attended by about 90 participants coming from Senegal and the remaining the ECOWAS member countries, Europe and USA on the 27th and 28th of September in Dakar (Senegal). An ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) activity which was jointly organized with African Development Bank (AfDB). The participants were mainly financiers, project promoters, donors and market analysts and were interested to know the investment possibilities in renewable energy power plants in the ECOWAS Region that ECREEE had gathered and appraised.

This forum was the first milestone of ECOWAS Renewable Energy Investment and Business Initiative (EREI) which ECREEE has initiated. The Forum was part of an effort to fulfill ECREEE’s mandate to attract investments on Renewable Energies (RE) laid out in the ECOWAS White Paper on improving access to energy services for the population of the region, with a focus on rural and peri-urban areas. Periodically; investors, lenders and promoters of RE projects in West Africa will meet under the umbrella of ECOWAS governments, through its specialized agency (ECREEE.)

The Forum presented a pipeline of 40 renewable energy projects throughout the ECOWAS countries and covering a wide range of technologies (photovoltaic, wind, small hydro and biomass) with an overall expected capacity of 552 MW and an expected investment of approximately 1.5 billion EURO. The Forum succeeded to act as a communication bridge between promoters of RE projects and financial partners in the ECOWAS Region, where some financial partners showed interest in the projects presented by ECREEE, as well as raised awareness on the change of paradigm in the Power Sector, thanks to renewable energy technologies.

The forum has been a success as all the parties agreed about the timeliness and the focus of the forum on investment in renewable energy infrastructures. The year 2013 has been earmarked for an expected second edition of the forum and some financiers have already showed their interest to support it.