1st regional stakeholder Workshop validates the framework action plan

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

The ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), the ECOWAS Commission, the Ministry of Mines and Energy of Burkina Faso, with the  support of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the Austrian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, the EU Energy Facility, the Global Alliance for Clean Cook Stoves, the Governments of Austria and Spain, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Agency for Environment and Energy Management (ADEME) organized the 1st Regional Stakeholder Workshop of the West African Clean Cooking Alliance, from April 23 – 25, 2013 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

This Regional Workshop provided a platform for sharing best practices and also facilitated information exchange. Deliberations focused on the challenges regarding the proliferation of clean cooking technologies and services; the possible ways of addressing these challenges from a regional and international perspective; integration of clean cooking objectives into national energy strategies;  and finally, policy and planning tools that promote clean, safe, and efficient cooking as a driver for economic growth and improvement of  environmental and social conditions.

The workshop was attended by over 200 high level experts. Participants were drawn from the Ministries of Energy, and Forestry of all ECOWAS Member States, the private sector, testing and standards bodies, development agencies, and international organizations.

In his opening address, Hon. Salif Lamoussa KABORE, Minister for Mines and Energy of Burkina Faso, represented by Mr. Mabourlaye NOMBRE, Technical Adviser to the Hon. Minister, highlighted the prevailing low access rates to modern energy services, especially cooking energy and urged the participants to come up with an action plan for clean, safe and efficient cooking. Mr. Mahama Kappiah, Executive Director of ECREEE, in his welcome remarks, reiterated the responsibilities entrusted to the participants to develop appropriate policies to improve the livelihood of the ECOWAS population through clean cooking solutions.

Delivering the keynote speech, Dr. Johnson Boanuh, Director of Environment at the ECOWAS Commission, provided a recount on the various interventions undertaken by the Commission since the early 2000 to increase access to sustainable energy to the ECOWAS population. He expressed the gratitude of the ECOWAS Commission to the Partners for their financial and technical support and expressed the desire that the workshop will come up with a document that reflects the aspiration of the population for cooking solutions, given the negative impact of the current inefficient cooking practices on health and the environment.  Ms. Marlis Kees of GIZ-HERA also speaking at the opening session, highlighted the negative consequences of inefficient cooking and interventions of GIZ in this area.

The participants stressed the importance of cooperation at the regional level and the need to move from planning to action. During the discussion on the draft action plan framework, valuable comments were provided. The document was thereafter validated, subject to incorporation of the comments. In adopting the draft WACCA action plan framework, the participants called for the elaboration of a detailed ECOWAS cooking energy action plan with implementation time frame, activities and budget to be undertaken at the regional and national levels. The action plan would consider the main recommendations and outcomes of the Working Group discussions in this first WACCA stakeholder workshop.

Also, within the framework of the Stakeholder Workshop, an exhibition was organized with over 20 exhibitors showcasing practical and innovative products, technologies and services from West Africa and other regions.

Click here to visit the event page for more information.

Mr. Bah F.M. Saho – ECREEE Renewable Energy Expert
E-mail: bsaho@ecreee.org