Representatives of eight centers of the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centers (GN-SEC) had the opportunity to speak at the ECOWAS Sustainable Energy Forum (ESEF), which took place from 22 to 24 October 2019, at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra, Ghana. Under the guiding theme "Achieving Sustainable Energy Targets", the event was organised by the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) with support of a broad range of partners and sponsors: European Union, GIZ, UNIDO, Austrian Development Cooperation, Spanish Cooperation, African Development Bank, The World Bank Group, ARE, GET.invest, private sector sponsors such as Universal Energy and SPS.
With 300 experts from energy and related sectors in attendance, this year’s event showcased the progress made by the region while highlighting the remaining challenges faced by stakeholders when achieving regional targets in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
At the opening session, welcome remarks were given by a number of luminaries including Mr. Daniel Moore, Mission Director for USAID/West Africa; Mr. Sediko Douka, ECOWAS Commissioner for Mines and Energy for the ECOWAS; Fakhruddin Azizi, Country Representative, UNIDO; Her Excellency Diana Acconcia, EU Ambassador to Ghana, and Her Excellency Alicia Rico Pérez del Pulgar, Spanish Ambassador to Ghana. ECREEE Executive Director Mahama Kappiah gave opening remarks. Finally, Ghanaian Vice President His Excellency Mahamudu Bawumia, officially declared the forum open before proceeding to cutting the ribbon for the exhibition.
Since its inception in 2017, ESEF has brought together West Africa’s top officials, policymakers, industry leaders and other individuals committed to moving forward the region’s sustainable energy agenda. Geared toward facilitating business deals and promoting renewed investment in the area, ESEF aims to impact sustainable change and empower regional leaders from inception through execution and toward long term results; in this sense, ESEF2019 was no different.
“For the last ten years, ECREEE has been instrumental in creating the necessary environment for addressing the region’s energy issues by putting in place landmark policies in renewable energy and energy efficiency. In order to ensure the policy and regulatory work undertaken bears dividends right away, ESEF was established as platform to convene top experts and stakeholders from West Africa and beyond for collaboration. At ECREEE, we believe this is only way to bring about sustainable solutions to the region’s most pressing development issues,” says Mahama Kappiah, ECREEE Executive Director.
“While tremendous strides have been made in the region, more work remains to be done. We’re committed to working with various partners dedicated to bringing greater energy efficiency and access to the people of the region.” Mr. Kappiah also welcomed the representatives of the other regional centers and expressed his excitement "that the proven ECOWAS model is currently replicated in Africa, Caribbean, Pacific, Central America and the Hindukush-Himalaya." "There is a lot we can learn from each other", he concluded.
The 4th GN-SEC Steering Committee was organised on 25th October right after the ESEF.
In his closing speech, Mr. Mahama Kappiah, Executive Director of ECREEE, thanked the Ghanaian government for its support as well as ECREEE’s key sponsors.
For more information on the ECOWAS Sustainable Energy Forum 2019, please visit: esef2019.org.