Co-organized by the African De­velopment Bank (AfDB), the first ECOWAS Renewable Energy Invest­ment (EREI) and Business Forum took place on 27–28 September in Dakar, Senegal. This forum which was attended by more than 90 par­ticipants from the ECOWAS Member States, Europe and the USA, brought together financiers, project promot­ers, donors and market analysts in­terested in investment opportunities in renewable energy in the ECOWAS region.

This ECREEE forum was the first milestone of the EREI and Business Initiative, and was part of an effort to fulfil ECREEE’s mandate to attract investment into the region’s RE sec­tor, as stated in the ECOWAS White Paper on improving access to energy services, with a focus on rural and peri-urban areas. The forum provides a platform for ECOWAS Member States, investors, lenders and pro­moters of RE projects in West Africa to address investment challenges re­lated to RE infrastructural projects.

The forum presented information on a pipeline of 40 renewable energy projects throughout the ECOWAS re­gion, 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 €1.5b. The forum succeeded in acting as a communication bridge be­tween promoters of RE projects and financial partners in the ECOWAS re­gion as well as raising awareness on the transformation in the power sec­tor coming from renewable energy technologies.

The second edition of the forum scheduled to hold in October 2013 in Accra, Ghana,  with project financiers already expressing support.