The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sub-regional grouping, through its Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency along with other agencies and partners, will develop a robust regional energy market and increase access to modern and sustainable energy services in West Africa.

Dr Morlaye Bangoura, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Energy and Mines, announced this at the opening of a three-day ECOWAS Sustainable Energy Week conference here. The conference is being held under the theme, “Towards a viable and Robust Energy Market in ECOWAS Region”.

The event, supported by development partners, including the European Union, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Germany’s Embassy in Accra, is to promote the exchange of ideas and co-operation to support the acceleration of the implementation of a regional energy market.

Bangoura said the conference would help improve the current policy and regulatory landscape for a sustainable regional energy sector among the 15 ECOWAS countries by facilitating interactions and forging partnerships among ECOWAS policy makers, the private sector and financial institutions.

He added that the meeting would also assess the current status of the regional electricity market and present the regional perspective of the respective national Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency action plans.

Ghana’s Deputy Power Minister, John Jinapor, commended the ECOWAS Commission and its agencies for the efforts to promote and improve the energy situation of the member countries and called on the commission to include the private sector in its deliberations, since they played a pivotal role in the development and accessibility of energy.