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West African nations inches closer to regional power market launch

Xinhua,November 30, 2017 Adjust font size:

ACCRA, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Electricity experts and regulators in West Africa are meeting in Ghana from Wednesday to finalize documents towards the launch of the regional electricity market.

Members the consultative committees of regulators and operators of the sub-region's Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA) are reviewing the draft bloc's rules on sanctions and enforcement rules for the regional power market.

The phase one of the regional electricity market which is aimed at addressing the twin problems of energy access and energy security in the region was set for launch at the end of 2016 but has been shifted to the first quarter of next year.

When approved and endorsed, both documents will form part of the body of instruments critical to the effective take-off and launch of the first phase of the market in 2018.

The West African region is well-endowed with diverse energy resources to support domestic, industrial and commercial uses.

These resources are, however, unevenly distributed and experts believe it is through regional cooperation and integration of the regional electricity network that the benefits of electricity can be made available to a broad majority of West Africans.

The chairman of the regional electricity regulatory authority, Honore Bogler, said the effective take-off of the market would ensure that West African nations integrated their electricity network and facilitated its trade for the region's development.

Participants at the meeting believe the regional power market will give true meaning to regional integration.

Angelique Weeks, acting chairperson of the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission, said dialogue on the regional electricity market was a means of achieving West African integration.

"To be a true economic community, you need inter-connection of electricity because electricity is at the core of economic development anywhere in the world. And so we are glad to be here to be a part of this regional effort." Enditem