Description/achievement of initiative
In Rio, the concept of sustainable development renewed this general-interest idea. It added the environmental variable to those of economics and social concerns. The regional integration of energy systems is a factor in sustainable development and in regional political stability.
This is especially true for the ECOWAS countries. In these countries, reforms in the energy sector, carried out within the framework of liberalization programmes, have ensured the autonomy of businesses and, because of this, have deprived governments of their means of supervising and directing the market. Several of these countries also have shortfalls in their capacity for electricity production. This may be structural (a lack of investment) or due to conditions (the effects of drought on the water levels behind dams).
Joined together in the West African Power Pool (WAPP), these countries are planning to reinforce the interconnections between their networks in order to optimize the use of their installed capacities, eliminate emergency purchasing of thermal units, make the most out of their regional resources, and increase energy efficiency.
Called upon to support the WAPP project, France intends to participate in order to:
- Help restore to the Member States a capacity for the design and coordination of energy policy;
- Assist the ECOWAS in acquiring the institutional and technical capacity needed to enable it to stimulate a regional policy, with complete independence;
- Contribute to setting up a legal infrastructure, which is an indispensable prerequisite to any physical investment;
- Promote, by means of investment programmes of any type that may emerge from the initiative (electricity production, especially those utilizing water or gas resources, transport and regulation equipment, etc.), an approach that respects the role of the Member States in environmental, social, and territorial development terms.
Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer
Coordination mechanisms/governance structure
Government of France - Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Institut Economie et de Politique Energie (IEPE) (France)
Other intergovernmental organizations:
Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) (Nigeria)