Abuja - The Economic Community of West African States has granted three member countries US$108 million to boost their power generation capacity under the region’s emergency power supply programme.
ECOWAS granted the loans to Gambia, Mali and Sierra Leone under the programme which is designed to provide sustainable solution to the energy crisis in the affected countries.
This is according to a statement released in Abuja.
“The agreement for the grants will be signed by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, representatives of the three states and the West African Power Pool (WAPP), on 16th December 2013 in Abidjan, on the margin of the 71st Session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers,” stated ECOWAS.
The Cotonou-based WAPP, which provides the mechanism for pooling the energy resources of the region and coordination of trade in the sector, will serve as the implementing agency for the programme.
“Mali will get US54.34 million dollars, about half of the total grant, followed by The Gambia with US31.90 million, while Sierra Leone will receive the remaining US21.8 million,” the regional body stated.
The energy programme was launched with similar grants extended to Guinea Bissau and Guinea.
The present grants, to be disbursed in two tranches over 12 months, will enable the beneficiary states rehabilitate and maintain identified equipment, build capacity and develop platforms for monitoring and coordination.
“This is in continuation of ongoing programme to address the energy deficiency in Member States within the framework of regional instruments including the ECOWAS Treaty that calls for the promotion, integration and development of energy projects and cooperation in the sector. It is also in response to the directives by regional Heads of State and Government, the most recent being during their 42nd summit held in Yamoussoukro in February 2013,” it added.
The President of the Commission said the release of the grants will not only improve energy access to the citizens, one of the cardinal programmes of the Community, but also contribute to stimulating the economic development of the beneficiary Member States and the region.
– CAJ News