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Sierra Leone News: World Bank/ECOWAS to electrify SL

ECOWAS Center for Renewable Energy and Efficiency (ECREEE) is in full gear to transform the energy landscape in the West African and Sahel regions. To make this a reality, the World Bank has provided ECREEE $200 million USD, which is expected to benefit 19 countries.
The beneficiary countries are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’lvoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Togo, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, and Mauritania.
The preparation of ROGEP was launched in Dakar Senegal in October 2017 and Accra Ghana in June 2018.
The implementation of its first phase is to begin in the first quarter of 2019 with objective to enhance shared capacity, institutions and knowledge to jointly increase electricity access to households, businesses and communities using modern standalone solar technologies, for instance solar lanterns, solar home systems, solar water pumps, solar mills, solar sewing machines, in project countries.
Speaking on the project, Energy and Extractive Global Practice, World Bank Group, Wendy E. Hughes, informed the gathering that the advancements in off-grid solar technology can now provide quick, sustainable, affordable, and high-quality energy alternative for those who have been waiting far too long for the grid. She said by working together, they can ensure that the possibility becomes a transformative reality.
“ROGEP will seek to support local entrepreneurs through seed funding, provide business support and set up incubator… Dedicated support for under-represented categories of entrepreneurs, such as women, will be offered to enable these segments to take opportunity to ‘do well, by doing well”, she noted. Hughes spoke on the objective to create a sustainable off-grid market across 19 countries and to reach 395 million people and 244 million of who are currently have no access to grid electricity.
She said to meet this target they will need the input and commitment from all of the sectors.
She added that regional cooperation has a long history in West Africa adding that. “Adopting common quality standards for solar off-grid products that are uniform across the entire region, and implementing associated taxation easements in each country, will create a single large market that will be far more attractive to private solar companies, than 19 individual national markets with differing standards and rules world be”, she noted.
Mohamed Kappiah, Executive Secretary, ECREEE, explained that promoting universal access to energy is a key factor in achieving sustainable development and poverty reduction at the regional level.
He maintained that “access to affordable and reliable modern energy would not only contribute to human development, but it is also critical at attracting investments from companies that create jobs for the population in the region.”
SV/2/7/18
By Sylvia Villa
Tuesday July 03, 2018.

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