A five-day seminar to brainstorm on the activities of the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP) to ensure reliable energy supply and distribution in the sub-region has commenced in Koforidua in the Eastern Region.
It is being participated in by energy communication experts from ECOWAS member states of Nigeria, Niger, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Benin, Senegal, The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Togo, Liberia, Mali and Burkina Faso.
The seminar will also review programmes of the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA) communication specialist network and basic technical regulations.
Among the topics being discussed was the overview of the West African power pool master plan, project potential for each country, update on the sub-region's electricity market, and drafting of harmonious criteria for licence granting for authorisation to participate in the ERERA market.
The Chairman of the ERERA, Professor Honore Bogler, said West Africa would establish a common energy market to make it competitive for energy producers in the sub-region to market what they produced.
He said it would also make electricity cheap and affordable for member countries.
According to him, the formation of the common market had become necessary because while some countries had enough energy, others had little, while the rest did not have it at all.
As a result, he said, countries which purchased power had to enter into bilateral purchasing agreements with their power sources, sometimes to the disadvantage of the buying countries.
He said the market would ensure that countries that did not have energy would be able to purchase from the pool, without necessarily having to engage in bilateral purchasing agreements.
He further said the seminar would inform electricity consumers in the sub-region about the common market and what it had to offer.
"We want consumers of electricity in the sub-region to know about the establishment of the ECOWAS energy market, which will ensure a cheap supply of standard energy.
“We will also ensure that adequate information is provided on the issue to prevent any misinformation on it on social media," Professor Bogler added.
The Commissioner and Council Member of the ERERA, Dr Haliru Dikko, said the entire system was to ensure interconnectivity of power purchasing agreements which would make it possible for countries such as Nigeria to be able to sell power to a distant country such as Senegal.
He said his outfit would also give energy producers, as well as consumers, technical support, but added that such assistance would involve more investment.
The Energy Communications Officer of the ERERA, Owen Thompson, said there would be more stakeholder engagement to create a common platform for effective energy supply and consumption in the sub-region.