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Monday, April 15, 2024

16 Countries to benefit from ECOWAS Solar Energy Programme for SMEs

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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has announced that 16 eligible countries will receive grants under the Regional Off-Grid Electricity Access Project (ROGEAP) to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the solar stand-alone renewable energy sector for 2024.

This news was shared at a recent workshop organized by ECOWAS/ROGEAP for its network of journalists, providing updates on the project’s activities since its inception two years ago.

The Information and Awareness Workshop, held from March 13–14, 2024, in Lomé, Togo, brought together journalists from 19 ROGEAP member states to raise awareness about the project’s progress.

According to Mr. Syila Elhadji, ECOWAS representative, ROGEAP has secured approximately $3.387 million in funding from the World Bank, the Clean Technology Fund, and the Directorate General for International Cooperation of the Netherlands. The project is being implemented by ECOWAS through its Project Fund Managers (PFM).

Significant milestones achieved within 2023–2024 include the pilot implementation and launch of ROGEAP in six countries: Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, and Mauritania. Additionally, the project has provided entrepreneurship and financial support to SMEs, establishing 245 SMEs and 39 female-led businesses.

The PFM outlined the various stages of grants available to SMEs under ROGEAP, along with the grant amounts, matching requirements, and eligibility criteria based on business size and performance.

With a dedicated team of 23 regional and international experts from 13 countries and strategically located regional offices, ROGEAP aims to improve access to sustainable energy in the 15 ECOWAS member countries, including Cameroon, Chad, Mauritania, and the Central African Republic, by building a regional market for off-grid solar products and supporting the value chain for stakeholders.

The next call for grant applications is scheduled for April 2024, further advancing ROGEAP’s objective of promoting renewable energy access and supporting SMEs in the sector.

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