ECOWAS, Power supply, Electricity, Economic integration, West African Power Pool (WAPP), West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP)


The birth of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in 1975 as an instrument for fostering regional development and unity was also due to the limited economic coherence within the sub-region. This prompted their leaders to embrace regional integration as a central element of their development strategy. There has been increased awareness among these countries that progressive integration holds great potential for minimizing the costs of market fragmentation and thus, represents a precondition for integrating the region into the global economy. Cooperation and integration is also necessary to improve West Africa's competitiveness and position it to maximize the benefits of globalization. Enhancing the region's access to global markets will inevitably dovetail into sustaining economic and social growth. Power and energy are indispensable for sustainable development. Reliable power supply is an absolute prerequisite to economic growth; jobs creation; enhancement of value-added economic activities and support of income-earning activities not only in the urban but especially in rural areas, thus improving living standards. Integration is one of the most promising and cost-effective options for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to further the development of its energy sector, in order to gain the environmental, social and economic benefits accruing from a more efficient use of resources. It was in realization of the above that ECOWAS leaders in November 1999 conceived the idea of West African Power Pool (WAPP) and the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) aimed at integrating power and energy supply to the region. However, as sound and well conceived this line of reasoning might be, the region still suffers from inadequate power.

Author Bio

Mr. O.L. Akinboyo is a Staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Publication Title



No. 1


Volume 34



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