The Regional Off-Grid Electricity Access Project (ROGEAP) officially kicked-off activities this Tuesday, 26 July 2022 in Lome, Togo. The workshop was formally opened by the Chief of Staff to the Minister of State for Energy and Mines in the Office of the President of the Republic and was attended by the ECOWAS Resident Representative to Togo.
Participants in the workshop were drawn from Togo's Ministry of Energy and Mines, the ECOWAS National Office in Togo, BOAD, banking and commercial institutions, financial and technical partner institutions, civil society, the private sector and the media.
The main objective of the workshop was to introduce, on the one hand, the new structure of ROGEAP to the stakeholders and to sensitise them, on the other hand, regarding the implementation of the policy framework for the development of solar technologies and the Off-Grid PV Systems market in Togo. More specifically, the participants discussed, among other things, the state of the off-grid solar systems; the institutional and regulatory framework of the off-grid solar systems sector in Togo; the activities planned under ROGEAP; the involvement of private companies in the electrification of public buildings and infrastructure; and the identification of technical assistance needs of key actors in Togo.
The workshop was officially launched by Mr. Banimpo Gbengbertane, Chief of Staff, representing Hon. Mila Aziable, Minister of State for Energy and Mines in the Office of the President of the Republic, and attended by H.E. Barros Bacar Banjai, ECOWAS Resident Representative to Togo and Mr. Elhadji Sylla, ROGEAP Senior Advisor, representing Sédiko Douka, ECOWAS Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy and Digitalisation.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the ROGEAP Senior Advisor conveyed the sincere appreciation of the ECOWAS Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy and Digitalisation to the Togolese authorities for accepting to host the workshop, to the participants for their presence and to Togo's Minister of State for Energy and Mines for her support to ROGEAP's activities and its success in Togo.
Delivering a speech on behalf of the President of the ECOWAS Commission, H.E. Ambassador Barros Bacar Banjai reiterated the main objectives and goals of the project. "The objective of ECOWAS and its partners, through ROGEAP, is to help Member States establish an enabling framework for the establishment of an off-grid solar energy market and expand accessibility through increased participation and financing. from the private sector", said Amb. Banjai.
In his welcome address, Mr. Banimpo Gbengbertane recalled the pivotal role that energy plays in the economic, social and cultural development of a country. "Private sector mini-grids have an important role to play in the socio-economic development of rural Africa. Like stand-alone systems, they are an alternative to traditional rural electrification based on grid extension and off-grid solutions", noted the Chief of Staff, before formally declaring the workshop open.
During the practical phase of the workshop, several presentations were made on the national policy and regulations, the state of electrification, projects and programmes including the TINGA Fund in off-grid solar systems in Togo. The participants were then put into two working groups. The first group focused on the topic: "Policy, norms, standards and taxation of off-grid solar PV products". The second group focused on the topic: "Private companies and financial institutions".
At the end of the workshop, the participants made several recommendations including to: (i) improve the institutional framework of the energy sector in Togo by integrating legal provisions and incentives for off-grid activities to encourage banks to invest in the energy sector, (ii) ensure a wider dissemination and effective communication on the texts to allow the private sector to better understand the policies and projects initiated by the country, (iii) introduce quality standards and capacity building for inspection and laboratory facilities to protect and ensure the quality of the off-grid electricity market.
After Nigeria and Togo, the national sensitisation workshop for stakeholders on ROGEAP will also be conducted in The Gambia on 3 August, in Cote d'Ivoire on 4 August, in Benin on 17 August and in the other Member States where the project is to be implemented.