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Stakeholders Discuss ECOWAS Renewable Energy Efficiency

ECOWAS Secretariat, Abuja

ECOWAS Secretariat, Abuja

Stakeholders drawn from different Government institutions and organisations including the University of The Gambia, Ministry of Energy, Ecowas Regional Centre for Renewable Energy, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), among others, on Monday, August 27th 2012, commenced a five-day training on RETScreen and Certification at the University of The Gambia’s Faculty of Law, located in Kanifing.

The training, organised by the Ministry of Energy in collaboration with the University of The Gambia, has its overall aim to develop strategies for effective and sustainable use of the Ecowas Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREE) in the Gambia and other Ecowas member states.

The participants are expected to discuss issues relating to sustainable development of the Ecowas Renewable Energy Strategy in West Africa by improving access to a more modern, reliable and affordable energy services, and energy security, among others. They are also expected to consider issues relating to reduction of negative energy related externalities such as local pollution, Green House Gas emissions through dissemination of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RE&EE) technologies and services.

Dr. Abubacarr Senghore, Dean of the Law Faculty at the University of The Gambia, declaring the training officially open on behalf of the Vice Chancellor of the University of The Gambia, Professor Muhammadou O. Kah, extended a warm welcome to the training participants and urged them to come up with tangible solutions meant for effective implementation of the Ecowas Renewable Energy Strategy in West Africa and beyond.

Dr. Senghore made reference to what he called historical overview of the Ecowas Regional Centre for Renewable Energy. According to him, Energy ministers from Ecowas member states first established Regional Renewable Energy Promotion Agency in Sub-Saharan Africa, and a secretariat for the Ecowas Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, which was inaugurated on July 6th 2010, in Praia, Cape Verde, with support of UNIDO.

Further commenting on the secretariat of the Ecowas Energy Centre, Dr. Senghore said the secretariat is operational with a small multi-national team of full time staff. He added that ECREE is a decentralised organisation with networks of national focal institutions.

The Law Faculty dean seized the opportunity to speak about the commitment of the University of The Gambia towards sustainable implementation of energy related strategies in the country, in line with development objectives of the Government of The Gambia, under the dynamic and visionary leadership of President Jammeh. He cited the creation of the Ministry of Energy, the Vision 2020 blue print, PAGE, among other development objectives of The Gambia Government, all directed towards effective and efficient use of renewable energy in the country.

For his part, Mama Nyang, deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Energy, also assured of government’s commitment for an effective and efficient energy use in the country. He made emphasis on his ministry’s commitment at all times to that effect. According to him, an effective and efficient utlisation of energy can have significant bearing on economies of Ecowas member states and beyond.

He however expressed disappointment over what he called the untapped or underutilised renewable energy resources in Ecowas member states. He therefore urged project developers, banks, investors, policy makers and planners to assess the technical and financial feasibility of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

DPS Nyang made reference to the series of trainings embarked upon by UNIDO on RETScreen software in all Ecowas member states covering all stakeholders. He said that RETScreen is one of the widely used softwares across the globe for estimation of potential clean energy projects.

From: All Africa