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The Community Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has said that lack of resources and ignorance is the bane of energy efficiency in West Africa.
The Parliament regretted that businesses and individuals are not
capitalizing on the opportunities in the sector, due to barriers, such as lack
of awareness, as well as non-availability of resources.
The Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament Rt. Hon. Sidie Mohamed Tunis said this at the closing of the ECOWAS Parliament delocalized meeting of the Joint Committee on Energy and Mines, Industry and Private Sector, Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources, and Infrastructure, which was held in Cote D’ Ivoire.
He noted that the meeting facilitated the sharing of information, approaches, and practical applications in effective energy management.
According to him, “The meeting, in line with its specific objectives, sought to understand the greater issues of energy efficiency measures, build capability in energy management, encouraging research and development in energy-efficient technologies and raise the awareness of the public on the role of the private sector in energy conservation.
“That is why there could have been no better theme than the one selected for this meeting, which is ‘Ensuring energy efficiency in West Africa through innovation, active involvement of the private sector and citizen participation.
“Even more important was the disclosure of the opportunities that energy efficiency provides and how investments in energy provide relatively quick returns with a high degree of certainty”.
While noting that improving energy efficiency is about dollars and cents,  the Speaker said that its impact on society is far-reaching.
He explained that the Parliament is inclined to emphasize that private sector engagement is fundamental to the community goal of achieving energy efficiency.
“As one of the most powerful forces for improving lives, strengthening
communities, and accelerating countries towards self-reliance, private-
sector engagement—and the approaches it leverages—builds the skills,
resources, knowledge, and incentives needed to improve the sector.
“Perhaps, in an effort to manage the Energy sector, Governments can be the effective regulators, while the private sector addresses issues relating to access and provide technical and operational capacity. Moreover, a lot can be done to reduce investors’ perception of risk. Public finance is expected to
play a crucial role in creating the enabling environment, using public funds as a mobilization tool to attract private capital.
“Governments can ensure commitment to long-term policies and necessary regulatory tools, in addition
to creating special lending facilities aiming to provide direct support and facilitate renewable energy,” he further explained.
Hon. Tunis observed that to improve the standard of living across our region, we must continuously explore newer technologies and
innovations.

 


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