ECOWAS launches Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority
Known as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA), the body was created in 2008, to oversee the development and monitoring of uniform technical rules for the management of the exchanges between interconnected systems to maximize their technical efficiency.
It will also supervise wholesale electricity sales between the various operators in Member States and analysis of their efficiency in order to avoid anti-trust practices and also monitor compliance with commercial rules and contractual commitments by partners, as well as the developing of procedures for the settlement of disputes.
In an address read for him at the launch, Dr Joe Oteng-Adjei, Minister of Energy, said efforts to link electricity networks in the Sub-Region through the West African Power Pool Programme had made remarkable progress with two interconnected sub-systems.
These systems are the sub-system comprising seven member states comprising Burkina Faso-Cote d’Ivoire-Ghana-Togo-Benin-Nigeria-Niger, which are being managed by separate national power companies and the one between Mali, Guinea and Senegal and a non-member state, Mauritania.
Dr Oteng-Adjei reiterated the commitment of Ghana to the Regional Power Integration process in order to reduce the electricity deficit to improve on the lives of the people.
Mr Celestin Talaki, ECOWAS Commissioner in charge of Infrastructure, said the implementation of the regional regulatory body had become necessary to enhance the development of institutional frame that would attract the investors in the sector to reduce the deficit of electricity in many ECOWAS countries.
El Hadj Ibrahima Thiam, Chairman of ERERA, said the regulatory body would help in the optimization of the uses of primary energy and the reassurance of the sources of supply that would favour the price reduction of electricity.
He said the commitment of ECOWAS member states to achieve the interconnections in the pooling and sharing of energy resources had led to the adoption of various provisions to establish appropriate legal and institutional environment for the development of the electricity sector in the Sub-Region.
Mr Thiam said the two-day forum on regional regulation of electricity sector of ECOWAS would disseminate the results of a demonstrative regulating actions conducted during the preparatory phase for the Draft of West-African Regional Regulation of the electricity sector.