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The Regional Off-Grid Electricity Access Project (ROGEAP) officially launched its activities in Lome, Togo. Launched by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the regional project aims to electrify off-grid communities in Africa through mini-grids powered by solar energy.
Initially launched in 2017 as the ROGEP, the initiative was later restructured and re-launched in November 2020 as ROGEAP by the ECOWAS along with its technical and financial partners. A total of 19 African nations are set to benefit from the project
ROGEAP’s workshop in Lome drew participants from Togo’s Ministry of Energy and Mines, the ECOWAS Office in Togo, West African Development Bank (BOAD), civil society, banking & commercial institutions, financial & technical partner institutions, media, etc.
The main objective of the workshop was to introduce ROGEAP’S new structure to the stakeholders and implement the policy framework for the development of solar technologies and the off-grid photovoltaic system market in this West African nation.
During the opening ceremony, Banimpo Gbengbertane, the Director of Cabinet of the Minister of Mines, mentioned the pivotal role that private sector mini-grids play in the socio-economic development of rural Africa. Like stand-alone systems, these mini-grids are alternative solutions to traditional rural electrification via grid extension and off-grid solutions.
The participants discussed the state and the regulatory framework of the off-grid solar systems in Togo, activities planned under ROGEAP, the role of the private sector in the electrification of public infrastructure, and the identification of technical assistance needs of the key energy players, etc. The participants were put into two working groups, the first group focused on policy, standards, and taxation of off-grid solar photovoltaic products whereas the second group discussed on the participation of private companies and financial institutions.
ROGEAP workshop was recently launched in Nigeria and attended by the representatives of the ECOWAS Commission and several commercial banks, along with officials from the Nigerian Ministry of Energy. After Nigeria and Togo, the national sensitization workshop for stakeholders on ROGEAP will be conducted in the Gambia on 3rd August, in Ivory Coast on 4th August, in Benin on 17th August, and in the other ECOWAS member states where the project is to be implemented.