ECOWAS Sustainable Energy Forum 2020 (ESEF 2020)
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) hosted the fourth edition of the annual ECOWAS Sustainable Energy Forum (ESEF) on 24-26 November 2020.
ESEF 2020 raised awareness about the progress made by ECOWAS member states toward achieving sustainable energy targets set for 2030. It also focused on achieving the vision of the ECOWAS for a prosperous regional sustainable energy market, which is contingent upon harnessing the region’s vast renewable energy potential.
The event was organised in partnership with the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE), the global decentralised renewable energy industry association, and supported by GET.invest, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC). The event also saw Energy Catalyst and RES4Africa Foundation as sponsors and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as strategic partners.
Now more than ever, addressing the energy gaps facing the region must be at the forefront of all development efforts. ESEF2020 was special in many ways as it coincided with two landmark events, namely, the 10-year anniversary of ECREEE and the global pandemic of COVID-19. The agenda therefore had a special focus on the role of sustainable energy in COVID-19 response and recovery.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions imposed globally, the event was held virtually.
ESEF2020 will have four overarching themes:
- Theme 1: Powering essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond: “The role and potential of off-grid renewable energy solutions in powering rural health care”
- Theme 2: Ensuring business continuity: “Saving renewable energy MSMEs during and after the COVID-19 pandemic”
- Theme 3: Women entrepreneurs as key drivers of growth in the RE sector: “Promoting gender equality in the ECOWAS renewable energy sector”
- Theme 4: Productive Uses of Energy: Energy, Water and Food, The Winning Nexus