ECOWAS finances to boost regional power supply

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is to provide 450,000 U.S. dollars to boost the performance of the West African Power Pool (WAPP), according to a statement available Lagos on Saturday.

The statement issued by the ECOWAS secretariat in the Nigerian capital Abuja said the fund would assist in the promotion of efficient utilization of energy resources in the sub-region.

The statement quoted Acting Deputy Executive Secretary M. O. Afolabi as saying that the assistance would help to alleviate the financial problems being faced by WAPP, a specialized energy agency of ECOWAS.

Afolabi said the sub-regional body ECOWAS had provided 210,000 dollars to facilitate the take off of WAPP in 2006 and secured a 12.5 million dollars five-year technical assistance package from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

"ECOWAS also negotiated a two-year technical assistance package at 85,000 euros (about 106,500 dollars) from the donor agencies," he added.

The deputy secretary said ECOWAS was also negotiating with the European Union and other donor agencies to generate additional support for the WAPP Secretariat and its operations.

He advised the secretariat to develop codes and standard for planning design operations that would contribute to the realization of the objective of creating an integrated electricity markets that would ensure the stability of supply and quality of life.

The statement added that in line with its mandate, the WAPP secretariat had identified nine power generating and transmission priority projects for execution in the next 17 years to boost electricity availability in the sub-region.

"So far WAPP had funded the work of the two task forces that visited The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Liberia and Sierra Leone to assess their generating and distribution capacities," he said.

Source: Xinhua

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