President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said the need to make reliable and affordable energy available to West African citizens is crucial to the region’s development.
He said the socioeconomic development and transformation of the region hinges on the availability and provision of energy to all citizens.
Speaking at the 12th General Assembly of the West African Power Pool (WAPP) in Accra, the President said the region is endowed with diverse energy resources which are unevenly distributed.
“…and it is through regional cooperation and integration of the regional electricity network through power pooling and cross border interconnection that the benefits of electricity can be made available to a broad majority of citizens of West Africa’
He said the availability of electricity “will greatly influence how rapidly West African countries are able to increase their agricultural and industrial productivity, provide safe drinking water”
The President is confident that WAPP has what it takes to create a regional electricity market and in general identify gaps and challenges as we map a clear way forward.
He however challenged the experts to “come up with concrete proposals that will make regional integration through a regional electricity market a reality.”
He noted that while progress has been made, for the establishment of the regional electricity market, more has to be done to get to the final destination.
“While the challenges are immense, we must fundamentally realign our energy system to achieve a unified system. WAPP has what it takes in terms of capacity and capability and to create the regional electricity market.
“This is the surest way to harness the socioeconomic development of the region and improve the living standards of our people. We must travel down this road,” the president added.
He is convinced that the agreement among the West African countries to integrate their electricity network for the region’s development and economic take off will engender strong synergies and significant complementarities.
The outcome of the integration, he believes, should be an electricity system in which “uninterrupted supply is the expectation rather than the exception.”
The West African Power Pool (WAPP) is a specialized institution of ECOWAS. It covers 14 of the 15 countries of the regional economic community; Benin, Côte D’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo.
As an international organization of public interest, the WAPP is created to ensure Regional Power System integration and realization of a Regional Electricity Market.
It is made up of Public and Private Generation, Transmission and Distribution companies involved in the operation of the electricity in West Africa.