ECREEE Side Event at Rio+20

The ECREEE Rio+20 Side Event ‘Towards Universal Access to Sustainable Energy Services in West Africa’ took place on 17 June 2012. The side event brought together the major partners and beneficiaries of the implementation process of the adopted the ECOWAS/UEMOA Regional White Paper on Access to Energy Services for Populations in Rural and Peri-urban Areas. It featured the participation of high level representatives of ECOWAS, the United Nations (UNIDO, UNDP) and the European Union (Austria, Spain, European Commission).

To accelerate the achievement of the MDGs, the Regional White Paper was adopted by ECOWAS in 2006. The White Paper is aimed at providing access to improved domestic cooking fuels and sustainable electricity services for the majority of the population by 2015. Moreover, it foresees that at least 20% of new investments in electricity generation should originate from locally available renewable resources, in order to achieve self-sufficiency, reduced vulnerability and sustainable environmental development.

The side event:

  • took stock of the achievements of the White Paper process and highlighted success stories and lessons learned in some of the ECOWAS countries (e.g. Ghana, Cape Verde);
  • discussed the objectives and time frame of the White Paper in the light of the newly adopted UN Goals on Universal Access to Energy Services by 2030;
  • proposed fast-track measures to be implemented under the SE4ALL in the ECOWAS region.

Speeches and presentations were made by Mr. Ebrima Njie, ECOWAS Commissioner for Infrastructure; Dr Pradeep Monga, UNIDO Director of Energy and Climate Change; Mr Eugene Owusu, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Ethiopia; Mr Bayaornibe Dabire, ECOWAS Director of Energy; Mr Mahama Kappiah, ED of ECREEE; Ms Irene Giner-Reichl, President of the Global Forum on Sustainable Energy (GFSE); and Mr Gonzalo Robles Orozco, Secretary-General for Development Cooperation, Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. The side event was moderated by Mr. Ingmar Stelter of the EU Energy Initiative Partnership Dialogue Facility (EUEI PDF).