The Gambia will host the Regional Off-Grid Electricity Access Project (ROGEAP) sensitisation workshop for stakeholders on ROGEAP on 3rd August, in Cote d’Ivoire on 4th August, in Benin on 17th August, and in the other Member States where the project is to be implemented.
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.
The workshop was meant 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.
Ambassador Barros Bacar Banjai, speaking on behalf of the President of the ECOWAS Commission reiterated the main objectives and goals of the project.
“The objective of ECOWAS and its partners, through ROGEAP, is to help the 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”, he said.
For his part, Mr. Banimpo Gbengbertane, Chief of Staff Office of the President of the Republic of Togo 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 for 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”.
However, the participants made several recommendations including improving 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 and ensure wider dissemination and effective communication on the texts to allow the private sector to better understand the policies and projects initiated by the country.
The recommendation also called for the introduction of quality standards and capacity building for inspection and laboratory facilities to protect and ensure the quality of the off-grid electricity market.