Praia – October 3, 2016 – The President of the ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency Mr. Marcel Alain De Souza, paid his first official visit to Cabo Verde-based ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), where he dedicated some of his time to meet with the staff of the Centre.

Mr. Mahama Kappiah, the Executive Director of ECREEE, welcomed the President and made a brief presentation related to the activities and programs being carried out by the Centre in the last six years. He shed light on the Energy situation in the region, stating that the West African region, with such tremendous potential it is absolutely important to focus resources and capabilities in order to develop and implement renewable energy projects to improve people´s lives.

The Director also pointed out the barriers and constrains of the region towards renewable energy and energy efficiency mentioned specifically financial and economics, policy and regulations and also capacity building and knowledge transfer, justifying the work being done by the Centre to tackle such issues. Mr. Kappiah highlighted the support being provided by key partners such as the Spanish International Cooperation, the Austrian Development Cooperation, UNIDO, USAID and the ECOWAS Commission, praising them for ECREEE´s accomplishments.

In his intervention, the President Mr. Marcel Alain De Souza, congratulated the Centre and the entire staff for the activities and programs being carried out so far, encouraging the Director and the staff to work hard in order to keep achieving results. As he stated, “it is important that every work we do we make sure that it changes people’s life for better”. Mr. De Souza also stressed that our region is not an ECOWAS of States but ECOWAS of People encouraging the staff to hold and focus on that vision.

The President demonstrated a particular interest to implement renewable energy projects in Liberia, where the current energy situation is not so favorable after acknowledging some important renewable energy related data.