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ADF Board Approves $2Mn Grant For ECOWAS’ Electricity Reforms

The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund (ADF) has approved a technical assistance grant of $2 million to fund research that will contribute to electricity reforms in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The approved grant, which is the concessional window of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), will be paid to the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority.

The ADF’s board stated that the objective of the technical grant was to stimulate cross-border electricity trade and improve energy access in the 15 countries in the region.

The project has five components, the first of which is selecting electricity regulatory principles and key performance indicators from the AfDB’s flagship Electricity Regulatory Index for Africa report, to be adopted by the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority.

Under the first component, the project will build capacity in member countries for collecting and reporting on these indicators on a common platform.

The second component will involve conducting a study in order to update a comparative analysis of electricity tariffs and their underlying drivers across the electricity value chain of ECOWAS.

The third involves developing a centralized database management system that will provide a platform for digitally collecting relevant energy information from member countries, storing, and disseminating them on a common digital platform.

The fourth component will assess and identify project bottlenecks and risks in ECOWAS member countries and recommend a coherent approach to progressively address ground-level barriers to investment in the power sector in pre- and post-establishment phases of the regional electricity market.

The final component focuses on programme management and capacity building, which will be co-financed with the Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority. All components of the project will include gender-disaggregated data.

Commenting on the funding support for ECOWAS, the project team leader at AfDB, Solomon Sarpong, said: “Ultimately, this project will facilitate regional electricity trade and help improve access to electricity.

“It will address major causes of fragility, such as infrastructure bottlenecks, youth unemployment, environmental challenges, gender inequalities, and regional development imbalances”, Sarpong added.


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