The forum provides a more “intimate” platform with only Utilities and IPP CEOs from West Africa joining the discussion table. Similar topics to the Pan African forum will be addressed but at a regional scale and will include regional challenges or cross-border trade. The forum is also the perfect opportunity to strengthen regional cooperation between utilities.
WHY WEST AFRICA?
- On-going re¬structuring consists in privatising the public electricity utilities in order to attract private funds to the electricity sector. Early in 2000, a regional strategy was launched seeking to reinforce these reforms, to exploit domestic primary energy resources and to improve the electricity interconnections between the national grids.
- After a few years of operation, the WAPP has succeeded in providing a forum for policy issues and in setting up some institutional organizations. Interconnection projects are also in process, financed by the World Bank and other international financial institutions
- West Africa has one of the fastest growing populations in the world, yet electrification rates are among the lowest – only 42% of the population on average has access. This figure drops to 8% in rural areas. Load shedding is also a cost to the economy.
- In 2012, West Africa’s 15 heads of state pledged to increase the share of renewable energy in the region’s overall electricity mix to roughly 10% in 2020 and 19% by 2030, through both grid and off-grid projects. The targets translate to an additional 2.4GW of renewable electricity capacity by 2020 and 7.6GW by 2030, according to the UN.
- In March 2016, an underwater gas field located in the Senegalese-Mauritanian waters was explored. It contains significant resources and could encourage an inflow of FDI in the future. This will also contribute for the Senegal to stay one of the leader in the power sector in the next few years
- Over 200MW of solar are set to be developed by the end of 2017, through the IFC Scaling Solar programme, of which Senegal is a significant benefactor. 6 solar and wind projects are currently in process and planned for 2018 in Senegal.
- Senegal has secured US$7.8bn in donor pledges following recent meetings in Paris. The funds will boost economic activity in the West African economy
- SENELEC who suffered from a lot of debts in 2013 is since 2016 making 30billions profit a year.
- Côte d'Ivoire is an electricity exporter. However, with electricity demand rising on average 7% annually over the past few years, the country's exports to its neighbours - in particular Ghana, Burkina Faso, Togo and Benin - have fallen by more than 30% from their peak in order to cover domestic consumption. From a capacity today of about 1,800MW, Côte d'Ivoire wants to reach 4,000MW by 2020, using a mix of gas-fired generation and hydroelectric power. The expansion will be mostly driven by the private sector.