Celebrating the deployment of electricity in West Africa on Africa Industrialization Day
Electricity is the driving force behind development
On this Africa Industrialization Day, RTE international is proud to be cooperating with authorities in West Africa in the deployment of this energy. RTE international is in fact supporting the setting-up of a common market to improve accessibility, competitiveness and the reliability of electricity in fourteen of the ECOWAS member states*.
According to the World Bank, the rate of access to electricity is 52% on average in West Africa. Inhabitants are also subjected to numerous power cuts and pay approximately twice as much for their electricity than what other people do in the rest of the world. The poor reliability of the network combined with these high prices deters investors. By sharing their power resources within a unified grid, ECOWAS countries will benefit from a reduction in the cost of electricity and increased security of supply. The region’s power system will also be able to cope more easily with accidental shortages. Finally, the unified market will attract private investment in power generation.
The future Information and Coordination Centre (ICC)
RTE international teams have been working with the ICC since 2019
Since 2019, the teams from RTE international have been supporting the operationalisation of the body that will coordinate this common market, the Information and Coordination Centre (ICC) of the West African Power Pool (WAPP) located in Cotonou, Benin. The WAPP organises a regional market in which national operators retain their jurisdiction. The ICC will support these operators by carrying out the traditional missions of a regional coordination centre such as capacity allocation for energy exchange between countries, providing real-time support to transmission system operators, coordinating the withdrawal of facilities for maintenance reasons, checking the generation-demand balance and writing incident reports associated with post-incident analysis.
The commissioning of the new ICC site is planned for the end of 2021-beginning of 2022. This should coincide with several interconnection links being put into operation, such as the one joining Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea (CLSG). These new lines will enable the last remaining isolated countries in the sub-region to be integrated into the regional network.
« Four RTE international experts are on site to support the operationalisation of the ICC and help its future forty employees to upgrade their skills. I’m pleased to be part of this project. This coordination centre will be the heart of an unprecedented collaboration in the region. It’s a good demonstration of the role that electricity plays in the development service. »
*The Economic Community of West African States is a West African intergovernmental organisation, founded on the 28 May 1975, with the members being Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
The West African Power Pool (WAPP) was created during the Twenty-Second Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government. Its vision is to integrate the national power systems into a unified regional electricity market with the ultimate goal of providing in the medium and long term, a regular and reliable energy at competitive cost to the citizenry of the ECOWAS region. Its mission is to promote and develop power generation and transmission infrastructures as well as to coordinate power exchange among the ECOWAS Member states.