ECOWAS - Economic Community of West African States

02/03/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/03/2020 03:59

ECOWAS Ministers, World Bank to meet in Abidjan on Securitisation of Payments Related to Cross-Border Power Trade in West Africa

Abidjan, February 1, 2020. The Commission of the of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Ministers in charge of Energy from six Member States (Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Mali and Sierra Leone), Experts and the World Bank will be meeting from the 2nd to 3rd February 2020 in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire on the Securitisation of Payments Related to Cross-Border Power Trade in West Africa.

In order to cope with the low access of West African population to electricity, which remains one of the major challenges of the region, ECOWAS Member States have decided to focus on pooling efforts through the development of an integrated electricity market. In this context, requisite measures were set out in the ECOWAS Directive C/DIR/2/12/18 on the Securitization of the Cross-Border Power Trade under the Regional Electricity Market which was approved in December 2018 with effectiveness set for 1 January 2020.

To support this process, the World Bank, which has been a key partner of ECOWAS and the West African Power Pool (WAPP) over the years, examined options for two main immediate support instruments to increase confidence in trade and investment and to support the implementation of the new ECOWAS Directive.

They are: the development of a Liquidity Enhancing Revolving Fund focused on electricity trade in the region and a World Bank regional budget support program focused on advancing the reforms needed to adopt/implement the new ECOWAS Directive.

The two-day meeting which was organised with support from the Ministry of Petroleum, Energy and Renewable Energy (MPERE) of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, will allow invited Ministers to discuss their needs in order to better structure the two instruments envisaged by the World Bank to increase confidence in the electricity trade and support the implementation of the new ECOWAS Directive C/DIR/2/12/18 on Securing Cross-Border Electricity Trading in context of the Regional Electricity Market.

The Ministerial meeting will be preceded by a meeting of the Experts on Energy from the Six ECOWAS Member States, which will hold on the 2nd of February 2020 in Abidjan.