ECREEE – Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire, 13TH April 2018 – The ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) concluded a two-day media workshop for journalists on issues relating to renewable energy and energy efficiency in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire from 12TH – 13TH April, 2018. The 2-day capacity building forum has provided an opportunity for ECREEE to update the media on their program of activities. The forum also enhanced the capacity of media personnel in reporting and writing for the renewable energy sector thus overcoming the challenges experienced in reporting on the implementation of ECREEE’s policies and programs. As part of the program, the Journalists also took part in the ECOWAS regional validation workshop for pre-feasibility study on Business Opportunities for Women in a Changing Energy Value Chain in West Africa.
The opening ceremony was presided over by Cote D’Ivoire’s Director General of energy Mr. Sabati Cisse. He noted with optimism that the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency ECREEE would continue to be the central pillar in our match towards a more solidified integration of West Africa through the provision of sustainable and affordable energy options. Mr. Cisse underscored the important role of the media noting that the “ECOWAS of people” slogan could only be achieved through accurate and timely dissemination of programs and activities of the regional body to the entire ECOWAS citizens.
He thanked ECREEE for organizing the workshop and urged participants to work closely with ECREEE to sensitize the citizens of ECOWAS on renewable energy and energy efficiency issues in West Africa. In a statement delivered on behalf of the Executive Director of ECREEE by the Principal Program Officer at ECREEE, Mr. Bah F. M. Saho, stressed the need for urgent efforts to expand access to energy services from the current levels in the region. He described this as the only solution to achieve meaningful progress in economic growth, employment generation, poverty reduction and sustainable development in the ECOWAS region.
He informed media representatives that since the establishment of ECREEE in 2010, the ECOWAS region has made significant strides towards enhancing the policy and regulatory environment for sustainable energy investments in member States. He therefore enjoined them to perform advocacy role in persuading governments and decision-makers, corporate organizations, as well as all the society to support effective energy access programs. Mr. Saho also pointed out that public authorities should be enlightened to devote resources and create incentives for private sector investments that would spur development and make measurable difference in the fight against energy poverty.
In his presentation on the role of the media in education and awareness creation, ECREEE Communication Consultant, Mr. Abdoulie Gassama said it is the primary responsibility of the media to report and provide extensive coverage on renewable energy and energy efficiency issues in the ECOWAS region. Mr. Gassama noted that the Media should always endeavor to conduct research as well as investigative journalism to either publicize improved technologies on energy supply or engage government officials on the need to maintain best practices in the area of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Mr. Aziz Fall delivered the motivational speech and urged the Journalists to take their work seriously in the area of renewable energy and energy efficiency in the sub-region.Journalists from eight francophone countries in ECOWAS member states namely; Niger, Togo, Guinea Conakry, Senegal, Cote D’Ivoire, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin participated in the workshop. Observers believe that the workshop has helped the media representatives better informed and will undoubtedly help filter ECREEE’s core policies, interventions and successes down to the grassroots, thus boosting the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency.