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The International Energy Charter strengthens ties with West Africa

On September 16 2019, the International Energy Charter participated in the Second Steering Committee meeting of the Programme for Improving the Governance of the Energy Sector (AGoSE) of the ECOWAS Member States, which took place in Abuja, Nigeria. The Energy Charter Secretariat has developed a track record of cooperation with ECOWAS (ie, the Economic Cooperation Organisation of West African States) in recent years, since a number of the countries from West Africa are currently in the process of acceding to the Energy Charter Treaty. The Secretariat’s cooperation with ECOWAS includes a project component of the AGoSE Program, where the Energy Charter is assisting ECOWAS member states with a number of capacity building activities designed to enhance regional cooperation as well as energy governance in West Africa. The current cooperation between the Secretariat and the ECOWAS Commission is strongly endorsed by the EU Delegation in Nigeria. 

The Second AGoSE-AO Steering Committee met in order to evaluate all relevant aspects of the entirety of the AGoSE project, including the segment of the activities where the Energy Charter is contributing directly. Participants in the meeting included specialised energy agencies established under the ECOWAS banner, EU Delegations from the regional states which are involved in overseeing grant agreements, aid agencies, representatives of international energy bodies such as IRENA, as well as other stakeholders. The Secretariat’s Expansion Unit presented in some detail all elements of the Energy Charter component of the AGoSE project which have been implemented thus far, including the Secretariat’s secondment program and other forms of capacity building activities. All of this contributed to further visibility, awareness raising and stakeholder education in relation to the expansion of the Energy Charter process in West Africa. Of the regional states, Nigeria, Senegal and The Gambia are all firmly in the accession process to the Energy Charter Treaty.