Building capacities in public-private financing for renewable energies in West Africa

February 16, 2017

On February 16, 2017, the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP) concluded a high-level capacity building conference on renewable energies and public-private financing targeting the West African region. The conference was a part of GSEP’s flagship capacity building series, Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) for Sustainable Electricity Development. Organized in partnership with the Regions 20 of Climate Action (R20), the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the Agence Nationale pour les Énergies Renouvelables (ANER) of Senegal, the event was a unique opportunity to exchange about best practices, local and international experiences for increasing access to sustainable, affordable, and reliable electricity which can accelerate regional social and economic development.

Mr. Djiby Ndiaye, Director General of ANER opened the conference, underlining the relevance and need for capacity building activities to advance in renewable energies. “I am convinced that participants at this gathering have understood the huge hope our governments pin on these proceedings,” said Ndiaye. “Governments understand the significance of this conference in providing for development of financing for renewable energy projects.”

During the conference, participants and panelists openly discussed their experiences in implementing renewable energy projects via competitive calls for tenders and bilateral negotiations, the most appropriate renewable energy technologies for West African countries, energy efficiency, project structuring, and innovative financing. Mr. Boubacar Mbodji, Special Advisor to the President of Senegal for Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency, emphasized the need to use financing intelligently and efficiently to plan for the current and future generations.

Mr. Mahama Kappiah, Executive Director of ECREEE, closed the conference and highlighted the need to turn dialogue into real world results. “The West African region has high potential in terms of renewables – be it solar, wind, bioenergy or hydro, but we pay a high price for energy which is really unfortunate,” said Kappiah. “ECREEE has worked in the past few years developing policies and trying to improve the investment climate in the region but as we need concrete results on the ground. People want light and energy to improve their quality of life and the way they do things.”

The two-day conference, directed specifically at participants from West Africa, was attended by over 60 high-level representatives from ministries, energy regulators, regional institutions, investors, public and private utilities and companies from 15 countries.