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Nigeria, other ECOWAS members secure $2m grant for electricity reforms

By Geoff Iyatse
29 June 2022   |   2:18 am
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 across members ..

ECOWAS

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 across members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), including Nigeria

ADF, a concessional finance window of the African Development Bank (AfDB), was set up to support economic and social development in 38 least developed countries on the continent. It provides concessional funding for projects as well as technical assistance for reaches and capacity-building.

A statement released by AfDB on its portal yesterday, said the electricity reform grant was approved on June 24. Power inefficiency is a major setback to efforts to industrialise Africa, one of the cardinal objectives of AfDB.

The regional bank expects the fund, which is to stimulate cross-border electricity trade and improve energy access in the 15 countries in the region, will go a long way in supporting ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority.

The project is anchored on five components, starting from selecting electricity regulatory principles and key performance indicators from ADF’s Electricity Regulatory Index for Africa report to be adopted by the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority.

The second component will involve conducting a study to update a comparative analysis of electricity tariffs and their underlying drivers across the value chain of ECOWAS. The next phase involves developing a centralised database management system that will provide a platform for collecting relevant energy data from member countries, storing and disseminating the information on a common digital platform.

The fourth component has to do with assessing and identifying project bottlenecks and risks in ECOWAS member countries and recommending a coherent approach to address barriers to investment in the power sector.

The final component focuses on programme management and capacity building, which will be co-financed with the Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority.

“Ultimately, this project will facilitate regional electricity trade and help improve access to electricity,” the project team leader at AfDB, Solomon Sarpong, said.

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

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