The implementation of the First Call of the ECOWAS Renewable Energy Facility (EREF) got underway with the commence­ment of the contracting phase in February 2013. This was based on the recommen­dations of the EREF technical committee which approved 41 projects for the grant award.




One of the projects – Electricity Trans­mission Losses Reduction in the City of Brikama – undertaken by The Gambian National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC) seeks to enhance the supply of electricity in Brikama through energy effi­ciency measures. The managing director of NAWEC, Ebrima Sanyang, observed that renewable energy and energy effi­ciency can play a key role in the provision of electricity supply needs. He expressed hope that the project would address the technical losses in electricity and improve the livelihoods of the beneficiaries.



A second project – Provision of Minimum Energy Services in Rural Communities in Benin – is being undertaken by a non-gov­ernmental organisation, ABED-Benin. The project kicked-off with the training of local technicians on solar PV technology main­tenance and accounting management of energy installations. Participants at the training session received toolkits for instal­lation and troubleshooting of solar PV pan­els to allow them strengthen their knowl­edge on management of solar PV projects. The project aims at the installation of 600 WC for designated community centres in 5 villages for services such as: lighting, bat­tery recharges (phones, radios), television, rural internet and freezing. Beneficiary vil­lages are organized in Village Committees for Energy (VCE) and will be responsible for the technical and financial manage­ment of the solar installations. ABED will assist the VCE to develop business mod­els as well as in the technical and account­ing management of the installations.