Promotion of a Climate-friendly Electricity Market in the ECOWAS Region (ProCEM)

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)
Co-funded by: European Union (EU)
Country: 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 2021



Since 2010, the insufficient and unreliable electricity supply remains a major obstacle to the development of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region. Only about 42 per cent of the 340 million people living in the region have access to electricity. A common regional electricity market for the 15 ECOWAS member states is increasingly seen as a better approach for increasing the cross-border use of renewable energy and other clean energy resources and for stabilising the electricity supply.

The current programme is built on valuable interventions under the previous programme that ran from 2013 to 2017, which had the objective of creating the framework conditions for renewable energy in the region. Major results are to be noted in the area of electricity generation from renewable sources which focused on technical assistance to ECOWAS member states and support to grid-connected renewable energy projects developers, in the area of electricity distribution which addressed the development of best practices and approaches for the reduction of distribution losses, and in the regional electricity market area which concentrated on supporting the development of key regulatory instruments for well-functioning cross border electricity exchanges. In-depth and tailored capacity building measures strengthened the key market actors in their mission. 

Despite these significant achievements, the key conditions for a sustainable and climate-friendly electricity market in the ECOWAS region remain insufficient.


The current programme improves the key conditions for a climate-friendly electricity market in the ECOWAS region. Through its country-specific interventions it increases the power generation from renewable energy sources and indirectly reduces the pressure on fossil resources and the resulting environmental damage. In the long-term, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the region is leading to increased climate change mitigation. 

Power distribution lines


ProCEM addresses the 15 ECOWAS Member States and focuses on the following three intervention areas: promotion of renewable energy, promotion of energy efficiency, and the functionality of the regional electricity market. The programme is implemented in cooperation with three partner organisations: the West African Power Pool (WAPP), the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), and the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA). These three institutions are located in Benin, Cape Verde and Ghana respectively.

The programme includes a co-financing by the European Union: "Improving the Governance of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Sector in West Africa" (known by its French acronym AGoSEREE-AO).  AGoSEREE-AO is therefore an integral part of ProCEM, which exclusively addresses the activities implemented in cooperation with ECREEE. 

The programme also emphasises the harmonisation of its interventions with other bilateral projects implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, in particular in Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and Togo; as well as the coordination with other donors such as USAID, IRENA, and the World Bank.

Female Installer during practical examination in ESP Dakar


  • Promotion of renewable energies: 
    In selected ECOWAS countries such as Benin, Niger, Senegal, Guinea Conakry, and Sierra Leone, the key actors of the energy sector (Ministries of energy, renewable energy agencies, regulatory agencies, and national electricity companies) received technical support that helps improve their existing legal, regulatory and technical conditions for renewable energy in both on and off-grid renewable energy projects. Upon request, the Technical Assistance Facility set up by the programme, equally provides technical assistance to selected grid-connected renewable energy projects in Benin, Mali and Senegal in order to enhance their development. In cooperation with other donors such as IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) the project supported, the operationalisation process of the West African Clean Energy Corridor (WACEC), through the development and regional validation of the implementation strategies for solar, wind and hydroelectric energy corridors. A technical training on the development of wind energy projects provided the 30 selected experts from electricity companies and 15 trainers from regional training centres of excellence with current expertise on the issue of wind project development and on the WACEC initiative. In order to ensure that solar photovoltaic (PV) professionals have the competencies and required capacities to complete their job safely and effectively, the project supported the operationalisation of the ECOWAS Certification Scheme for Sustainable Energy Skills. First examinations were organised in Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria with some successful candidates which are now regional certified installers of off-grid PV solar systems. The Sustainable Energy Skills Certification is now extended to an advanced level for solar PV professionals. 
  • Promotion of Energy Efficiency:
    Minimum Energy Performance Standards for three types of electrical appliances (fans, televisions and water heaters) have been developed and validated by regional actors and national normalisation agencies in the ECOWAS region. Concerning energy efficiency in the distribution grids, selected staff representing 23 power distribution companies in the ECOWAS region received technical training on the methods for calculating distribution losses along with NEPLAN software license keys for their work. In about 10 ECOWAS countries, electricity distribution companies are supported in the development of bankable projects on losses reduction. The programme also organises annual learning and exchanges forums to perpetuate the synergy of actions and learning between the electricity distribution companies.
  • Functionality of the Regional Electricity Market:
    The support provided to the regional regulatory Authority enabled the development and the review of regional regulatory and market surveillance instruments. Relevant and in-depth technical trainings were implemented for the staff of the national electricity companies and also for trainers of the regional training centres of excellence.