Climate-friendly electricity market in West Africa

Project description

Title: Promotion of a climate-friendly electricity market in the ECOWAS region (ProCEM)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: ECOWAS member states: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo
Lead executing agency: ECOWAS Commission
Overall term: 2018 to 2020

©ECREEE  Installation of solar panels


Despite considerable economic growth of 5% to 8% annually since 2010 in the member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the inadequate and unreliable electricity supply in the region continues to be a major obstacle to development. Only about 42% of the more than 340 million people living in the region have access to electricity. In the common electricity market represented by the 15 ECOWAS member states, greater cross-border use of renewable energy and other energy resources could increase and stabilise the electricity supply.

The current project builds on an earlier project that improved the framework for renewable energies in the region. Partners already have access to best practices in disseminating knowledge and raising awareness. Electricity producers have a variety of possible solutions for reducing their technical and commercial distribution losses. Overarching development results (impact) are not expected until a later stage.


The conditions for a climate-friendly electricity market and a widely effective, technically and economically efficient and socially and environmentally sustainable energy supply in the ECOWAS region are improved. This will mitigate climate change and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The increasing use of renewable energies also indirectly reduces the pressure on fossil resources and the resulting environmental damage.

© GIZ photopool Advanced training in renewable energies


The main goal of the project is to use the impetus and the creative power of member states’ joint energy policy actions to accelerate energy transition at national level. This means strengthening ECOWAS’s regional specialised institutions in exercising their mandates and functions. Regionally coordinated energy policy and technical specifications as well as recommendations can then be implemented nationally through the specialised institutions.

The project is aimed at all 15 ECOWAS member states and works in three fields of action: expansion of renewable energies, improving energy efficiency, and functionality of the regional electricity market.

The project combines energy-related, methodological and process advice to the implementation partners. It also uses selected measures to promote the implementation of regional guidelines in the individual states.


©GIZ  Technician working at an electrical substation

The project strengthens the relevant actors – national and local organisations as well as selected energy utilities – in performing their role and their ability to engage in dialogue and reach consensus. Private sector organisations and consumers are involved where necessary.

The project is being implemented with three equal implementation partners: the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), based in Cabo Verde; the West African Power Pool (WAPP), based in Benin; and the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA), based in Ghana.

The project complements contributions by KfW Development Bank to funding power generation and transmission infrastructure to develop WAPP. It harmonises its activities closely with bilateral and global projects, particularly in Benin, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal. There is also close cooperation between the project and the European Union, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Bank and other donors.

Co-financing for the development of energy corridors, quality and energy efficiency standards, and rural electrification through renewable energies has been agreed with the European Union.

Additional information