Mr Peter Meisen,
Dear Mr Meisen,
Re: Electric Power Integration in Africa
The initiative of having an integrated energy production capacity in the region has been one of the objectives of ECOWAS, since the Heads of states adopted the Community Energy programme in 1982. In pursuant of this objective the Executive Secretariat joined forces with the World Bank in carrying out the study on the rationalisation of production and distribution of Petroleum products and Gas in sub-Saharan Africa. The results of the study which was presented in a workshop in Accra gave birth to the West African Pipeline project.
Indeed, it is my conviction that the abundant natural gas reserves in Nigeria which is currently flared could be tapped for electricity generation; that will provide the energy for sustainable development of industry in the region. This will also complement the hydro-power potentials which could be economically developed in some of the ECOWAS Members States. Therefore the integration of electric power networks in Member States is the logical conclusion to such a development.
In furtherance of this initiative, the Ministers in charge of Energy of ECOWAS Member States declared their collective resolve to establish the West African Power Pool at a meeting held in Accra early November this year. This meeting was addressed by Calvin R. Humphrey, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, US Department of Energy. The Ministers declared that they will encourage increased Private Sector involvement in the development of energy production facilities, and solicited the support of partners in development for the implementation of the Power Pool Project.
Clearly, ECOWAS Member States have made a political commitment. The Executive Secretariat is therefore launching an appeal to development partners to support this important project. I shall be pleased to discuss this idea in any international forum. I look forward to our future cooperation in this area.