The Project Management Unit (PMU) for the $338.7 million Regional Off-Grid Electricity Access Project (ROGEAP) has officially commenced activities from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Department of Energy and Mines in Abuja.
With ROGEAP now in its execution phase, the ECOWAS Commission is focused on a positive outcome for the region, which currently has an electricity access rate of only 50 per cent, with renewable energy forming only a fraction of its energy mix.
At a cost of $690 million, the project covers Cote d’Ivoire, the Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo, and Mauritania.
Wole Adeniyi, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, made the call, yesterday, at the African Continental Free Trade Area webinar organised by Stanbic IBTC, themed: ‘AfCFTA State of Play: Understanding Potential and Maximising Opportunities for the Customer’.
Wole said multiple studies have shown that increase in trade has a direct impact on reducing unemployment and poverty in societies.
While delivering his keynote address on the theme of the event, the guest speaker, Bamidele Ayemibo, lead consultant at 3T Impex Trade Academy, pointed out that with the implementation of the AfCFTA agreement, Africa has the opportunity of becoming the largest market in the world, with a population of 1.2 billion people and a combined GDP of $3.4 trillion.
MEANWHILE, ECOWAS has launched the West African Research Network on Organised Crime (WARNOC) with the aim of better understanding Transnational Organised Crime (TOC) and directly shaping better responses to organised crime in the region.
The network is part of the ECOWAS strategy to work with civil society to ensure effective responses to organised crime, in line with the ECOWAS Political Declaration on Prevention of Drug Abuse, Illicit Drug Trafficking and Organised Crimes in West Africa of 2008.