IN line with its determination to create a skilled and competent work force for sustainable energy access and infrastructure in the region, the ECOWAS Commission has begun the process of reopening the Inter African School of Electricity.
To this effect, a stakeholders’ consultation meeting on the re-opening process of the Inter-African Engineering Electricity College-Ecole Inter-Africaine d’Electricité, ESIE, Bingerville, Côte d’Ivoire opened at the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja, Nigeria on July 21, 2017.
Declaring the two-day meeting open, Morlaye Bangoura, ECOWAS Commission’s commissioner for Energy and Mines charged participants to keep in view the objective of the consultation which is to engender the sustainability of the region’s electricity companies and ensure that there is a viable regional electricity sector and an improved energy access by the people of West Africa.
According to Bangoura, the region is facing increasing energy challenges that are hampering its socio-economic development.
“With an electricity access rate of about 35 percent and an estimated energy consumption of 158 kWh / day per capita, one of the lowest in the world, many of our citizens are still in total darkness and lack of access to basic energy services including lighting, heating and efficient cooking,” he added.
With the situation, he said ECOWAS decided to focus its strategy on increasing electricity production, interconnecting energy transport networks and promoting renewable energies through its 2012-2025 Production Transport Master Plan And its priority renewable energy programme.
These actions, he maintained further “Should make it possible to increase the energy supply and make it reliable and affordable for the happiness of our populations” while the efficient operation of the infrastructures that will be developed through this master plan requires a skilled workforce that is well aware of the realities and energy challenges of the region.
The main objective of the meeting will be to review and evaluate the actions already undertaken in the process of reopening the IEEC and to define a coherent and consensual roadmap for the revitalization of this process.
Participants at the meeting included ministries in charge of Energy and Education and Scientific Research of Côte d’Ivoire, the African Development Bank, AfDB, the Association of Power Utilities of Africa, APUA, The West African Power Pool, WAPP, IRAF consultant as well as experts from the ECOWAS Commission.
ESIE was founded in 1979 by the Association of Power Utilities of Africa, APUA, with the objectives of ensuring the training in Africa of electromechanical engineers with an adequate level of competence and independence required to work in the power company and contribute to the resolution of the energy challenges of the continent.
Owing to dwindling fortunes and its subsequent closure, the ECOWAS Council of Ministers at its 70th Session held in 2013, in Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire, instructed the ECOWAS Commission to collaborate with the Government of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and its technical partners to take all necessary actions for its re-opening.
— Jul 31, 2017 @ 01:00 GMT