SPEECH OF CHAIRMAN, WAPP EXECUTIVE BOARD AT THE 12TH WAPP GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN ACCRA, GHANA ON 3RD NOVEMBER 2017

Good Morning

 

Your Excellency, President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

 

Your Excellency, President of the ECOWAS Commission, Marcel Alain de Souza

Honorable Ministers and  Members of Parliament of Ghana Here Present

Managing Directors, Directors General and Other Senior Officials of WAPP Member utilities

Secretary General of WAPP Secretariat, Appolinaire Siengui KI

 

Representatives of WAPP Donors

 

Members of the Diplomatic Corps

 

Distinguish Ladies and Gentlemen:

 

On behalf of the Executive Board of WAPP, I wish to thank the people and government of People’s Republic of Ghana. I wish to particularly thank His Excellency, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for the warm reception and hospitality extended to the WAPP delegates since we arrived for our meetings. We got the most cherished African tradition of hospitality here in Ghana; all the Power Utilities in Ghana religiously attended to us.

 

The facilities put at our disposal are of the highest quality. In addition, I wish to thank you for the security and the serene nature of Accra, which is increasing becoming the Centre of commerce and industry of not only Ghana but for the entire West Africa.

 

I wish to thank His Excellency, President of the ECOWAS Commission for the unconditional and unrelenting support.

 

The support of Technical and Financial Partners is unprecedented. For what they have been doing to WAPP, I say to them “Akwaaba” to Ghana. Without their generosity and support, the WAPP would not have been where it is today.

 

His Excellency, the President of the People’s Republic of Ghana, Distinguish ladies and gentlemen

 

It is indeed an honour and privilege that I stand before you to address WAPP General Assembly. Indeed, the integration of our national transmission systems in West Africa and the creation of an electricity market is about the most important steps aimed at regional integration. This assignment given to WAPP by the Authority of Heads of State and Governments of ECOWAS is clearly the most important step of integrating our economies.

 

This year’s General Assembly intend to advance electric power integration and electricity market creation. Though the implementation of our priority interconnection and generation projects still remains a major thrust of our WAPP focus and strategy;  the establishment of the information and coordination centre (ICC) and the apparatus of electricity trading has also gained increased momentum and relevance.

 

Let me at this juncture single out the European Union for the grant of €30 million for the construction of the Information and Coordination Centre (ICC) which started in January 2017 and is progressing smoothly. The project has five control centers (CACs) in Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea and Senegal and would be completed on schedule in December 2019. WAPP Executive Board has approved the condition precedent for the take-off of the Phase 1 of the Regional Electricity Market; what is still outstanding is the approval of ERERA- The Regional Regulatory Agency.

 

WAPP is also working with the World Bank to provide securitization in the form of partial risk guarantee in order to strengthen the cross border electricity transactions. This is necessary since payment for electricity consumed is threatening the continued sustainability of our effort.

 

It is important to highlight that the cross border electricity market cannot be successful without member countries of WAPP providing cost reflective tariffs and well-functioning distribution networks (companies). A systematic approach need to be looked into to resolve the revenue collection issues.

 

Presently, nine out of fourteen mainland ECOWAS Member countries are interconnected. The remaining countries (Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, Guinea Bissau and Gambia) shall be interconnected to the regional grid after the completion of the  Cote d’Ivoire-Liberia-Sierra Leone-Guinea Interconnection and the Guinea-Senegal-Guinea Bissau-Gambia Interconnection;  both projects would be completed in 2019.

 

WAPP is still expanding the interconnection of our member countries through several projects. Some of the notable projects include; North Core (connecting Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso and Benin), 2nd Nigeria-Benin Interconnection, Nigeria-Benin-Togo-Ghana, Ghana-Burkina Faso,  Burkina Faso-Mali, Guinea Mali interconnections and several other interconnection projects at various stages of development.  Many more of such projects are in the pipeline Such projects will become clearer after the completion of WAPP Master Plan Update.

 

However, all these great effort of WAPP is being threatened by policy inconsistencies of some of governments of the region. Such inconsistencies if not quickly checked would greatly affect the capacity of WAPP to raise project funds from international donors.

 

WAPP has secured significant support for the training of its staff, and that of Members Utilities. Particularly from the World Bank. These training are in the areas of interconnections management and the market development among others.

 

WAPP is further conducting training need analysis to determine its comprehensive requirements. This also include the current effort aimed at  transforming some of our existing training centres in Kainji (Nigeria), Calavi (Benin), Akuse (Ghana), CME (Cote d’Ivoire) and Cap des Biches (Senegal) into regional centres of excellence where the curricula will be specifically developed to satisfy our needs.

 

Your Excellency, the President of the People’s Republic of Ghana, Distinguish ladies and gentlemen

 

We require continued support from all stakeholders, including governments and member utilities, our Technical and Financial Partners, investors, contractors, consultants, the civic society and the media. The list goes on. From our Members, we continue to rely on your financial contributions towards our operating and capital budgets, and your expertise and support at all levels of WAPP. From our governments we require the conducive environment for the market and the accompanying policy framework devoid of inconsistencies and counter directives that seeks to slow project implementation. From our Technical and Financial partners, we require more support for our projects but also harmonization of policies, coordination and co-financing of projects to leverage more resources. To investors, given the existence of huge lack of access, this part of the world represent the best potential for investment. However, we need your understanding as we try to create the enabling environment for the establishment of successful electricity market. We intend to establish regulations for participation in the market that is open and non-discriminatory.

 

To the contractors and consultants, we require the highest standards of output and performance. In addition, to the civic society and media, we require your objectivity and constructive cretitism that would strengthen participation in line with principles  of probity, transparency and accountability.

 

Before concluding, I wish to thank our hosts and Member utilities of VRA, ECG, Gridco, Nedco, Cenit Energy, Cenpower and Karpowership for being excellent hosts.

 

Your Excellency, the President of the People’s Republic of Ghana, Distinguish ladies and gentlemen

 

Finally I wish to once again thank our technical and financial partners for the confidence they have in WAPP. To WAPP Members, we will continue to count on your support, payment of your contributions and releasing your staff to attend our meetings at very short notice and providing competent staff on secondment. I congratulate and thank the Secretary General and staff of the WAPP Secretariat for the good work done over the past years.

 

Thank you.