Energy experts from ECOWAS member states have convened in Cotonou, Benin, to review and validate three critical legal documents aimed at enhancing the regulatory framework for the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Market,Energy News Africa reports.

These documents include:

  1. Directive for the Harmonization of Criteria for the Granting of Licenses and Authorization to Participate in the Regional Electricity Market.
  2. Regulation on the Surveillance of the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Market.
  3. Regulation on the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Market Levy.
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The Directive for Harmonization of Criteria for Granting Licenses and Authorization is expected to promote fair competition in cross-border electricity trade among ECOWAS member states. The Regional Electricity Market Supervision Regulation will establish rules and procedures for supervising participants engaged in cross-border electricity trade, fostering a conducive regional investment environment and capacity development. Meanwhile, the Regional Electricity Market Fee Regulation aims to institute a fee structure to fund the operation and governance of the regional power market, ensuring effective oversight and regulation.

During the meeting, participants will receive presentations on the ECOWAS Regional Green Hydrogen Strategy and Action Plans for 2023-2030 and 2031-2050, as well as updates on the implementation of the ECOWAS Updated Energy Policy. They will also be briefed on the progress of studies concerning the development of a single gas pipeline project for the ECOWAS region, merging the West Africa Gas Pipeline Extension Project (WAGPEP) and the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline Project (NMGP).

The attendees include energy experts representing Ministries of Energy and national regulatory bodies from member states, as well as representatives from ECOWAS institutions, including the ECOWAS Commission, the West African Power Pool (WAPP), the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), and the West Africa Gas Pipeline Authority (WAGPA).

The opening of this two-day meeting commenced on October 5, 2023, and featured addresses from Mr. Sédiko Douka, ECOWAS Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy, and Digitization, and Mr. Edouard Dahome, the Minister of State for Energy of Benin.

Mr. Dahome highlighted the common approach taken by ECOWAS towards establishing a well-regulated energy market. He emphasized that WAPP and ERERA were established to integrate national electricity networks into a unified and regulated regional electricity market to ensure consistent, reliable, and cost-competitive electricity supply to the population in the medium and long term.

Commissioner Douka, represented by Mr. Amadou Diongue, ECOWAS Resident Representative to Benin, emphasized the significance of these legal documents in ensuring a fair and transparent foundation for the electricity market. He acknowledged the active contributions of member states and national regulatory bodies throughout the development process, integrating their recommendations into the final versions of the documents presented at the meeting.

The recommendations generated during this gathering will be presented to the 15th meeting of ECOWAS Ministers of Energy scheduled for Saturday, October 7, 2023, in Cotonou, Benin.


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