Cabo Verde hosts the 8th edition of the ECOWAS Sustainable Energy Forum – ESEF 2023

Praia – Thursday, October 12, 2023 – As part of the West Africa Energy Transition Week 2023, the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) is organizing the 8th edition of the Sustainable Energy Forum (ESEF 2023), under the theme “Boosting Sustainable Energy in the ECOWAS Region”. The Forum began today, October 12, and runs until tomorrow, October 13, at the National Assembly in Praia, Cabo Verde, under the patronage of the Prime Minister’s Office.

During this first day of the ESEF, the present and future of renewable energies in the ECOWAS region were debated through a series of panel discussions. For the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Alieu Touray, the ESEF has once again reaffirmed itself “as an essential meeting of West African energy players”.

The event highlighted the progress made in the region in terms of sustainable energy and presented investment opportunities in the sector, as well as possibilities for cooperation and partnerships to accelerate the development of a viable regional electricity market with massive integration of renewable energies.

The central objective is to foster access to energy and improve the policy and regulatory landscape for private sector investment through engagement between ECOWAS policymakers, regional and international private sector players and financial institutions. There is a strong focus on the ECOWAS Green Hydrogen Policy and Strategic Framework, identifying the opportunities offered by green hydrogen for the energy transition of the ECOWAS region, but also by the implementation of the major regional off-grid energy access project – ROGEAP, officially launched during the opening session by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Alieu Touray.

During the opening session, the Prime Minister of Cabo Verde, José Ulisses Correia e Silva, mentioned that the country has one of the best performances in the green growth index on the African continent, although he said that “our exposure to external shocks is still very high”. The country needs to continue on its path of reducing the use of fossil fuels and investing in renewable energy production, improving energy and water efficiency, electric mobility and mass access to energy for families at affordable prices. Cabo Verde’s Minister of Energy, Industry and Commerce, Alexandre Monteiro, stressed the importance of investing more in institutional capacity building and training professional skills in the area of renewable energies and energy efficiency.

The executive director of ECREEE, Francis Sempore, presented ECREEE’s strategic plan for 2023-2027, which sets out the priorities and lines of action to support and promote sustainable energy in ECOWAS.

This year, ESEF 2023 is taking place at the same time as the International Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Trade Fair (FIEREEE) and the Business to Business (B2B) Matchmaking. FIEREEE is open until October 14 to all stakeholders in the sustainable energy value chain (developers, financial institutions, distributors, suppliers, etc.), offering them the opportunity to introduce themselves to organizations looking to showcase their products and services. In addition to ESEF and FIEREEE, Matchmaking B2B aims to promote partnerships, business development and investments.