On December 22, at the ECOWAS Summit held in the Nigerian capital Abuja, the ECOWAS Committee，the government of the Republic of Guinea and the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO) jointly organized the High-level Symposium for African Energy Interconnection Sustainable Development to discuss Global Energy Interconnection (GEI)---an initiative from China, aimed at promoting the coordinated and sustainable development of economy, society, energy and power in West African countries.
President Jean-Claude Brou of ECOWAS Committee addressed the High-level Symposium and heads of state from West Africa had in-depth exchanges on West African Energy Interconnection Development. Chairman Liu Zhenya of GEIDCO delivered a keynote speech and proposed the planning for West African Energy Interconnection and the innovative co-development of electricity, mining, metallurgy, industry and trade to the heads of state and senior officials present at the meeting.
Mr. Liu Zhenya pointed out in his speech that African Energy Interconnection was a vital part of GEI. The large-scale development of mineral resources and rapid industrialization in West Africa has created a huge room for growth in electricity demand. Yet local supply alone cannot meet the demand and there is an urgent need for electricity import from other regions. The planning and development of West African Energy Interconnection intend to provide safe, cost-effective and clean energy supply for West Africa’s economic and social development by coordinating resources in and outside of the region, strengthening power grid development of the countries, accelerating transnational and trans-regional interconnection, and encouraging clean energy development in the region while introducing clean electricity from other regions.
GEIDCO has conducted in-depth researches on the economic and social development of Africa with a focus on clean energy and mineral resource endowments and urgent power demand of West African countries, based on which it put forward the new pattern of co-development of electricity, mining, metallurgy, industry and trade. Its general idea is to change the fragmented and separated development pattern of different countries and industries in Africa in the past and form an industrial chain for win-win cooperation between the upstream and downstream by promoting the co-development of electricity, mining, metallurgy, industry and trade with UHV technology. This will further promote virtuous cycle of capital investment, resource exploitation, industrial development, and foreign exchange earnings through export, transforming Africa’s resource advantages into economic ones and building pillar industries for stronger development driving forces.
Mr. Liu Zhenya said that by coordinating the planning and development of clean energy bases such as hydropower, mining and metallurgy bases, industrial parks, the co-development model of electricity, mining, metallurgy, industry and trade would help forge an integrated power market for power development, transmission and consumption to address the power shortages for industrial development and the lack of market for power development, delivering great economic and social benefits.
Based on GEIDCO’s researches on the planning for energy interconnection in West Africa and the 16 countries in the region, the co-development of electricity, mining, metallurgy, industry and trade will facilitate the establishment of three major economic zones in the Gulf of Guinea, offshore West Africa and the Niger River region that cover the steel, aluminum, gold, petrochemical, machinery and electronic industries. With this development pattern, by 2050, the average power supply cost will be cut by about 7 cents/kWh; over 30 million new jobs in various industries will be created; and basically the 170 million people living without electricity will get access to it.
This High-level Symposium called on West African countries to join the African Energy Interconnection Sustainable Development Alliance (AEISDA). The AEISDA was jointly initiated by the Guinean government and GEIDCO to build a platform for the pragmatic cooperation between governments, companies and financial institutions to accelerate the development of key projects and clean, industrialized, electrified and integrated development of African countries. By now, the AEISDA has gained positive support and response from African countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.
On September 4, during the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, GEIDCO, the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) jointly held the Forum on African Energy Interconnection Development and released the African Energy Interconnection Planning Research Report.
During the visit to GEIDCO Headquarters in August, President Alpha Condé of Guinea said in his speech that “Africa’s industrialization requires sufficient, cost-effective and sustainable power supply. GEI development will drive large-scale clean energy development in Africa, which is highly in line with the AU’s 2063 Agenda and will open up a new path for industrialization and sustainable development of Africa.”
Founded in July 1975 and headquartered in Abuja, ECOWAS is the largest regional economic cooperation organization in Africa. Its purpose is to facilitate the economic cooperation and development between member countries, improve people’s living standards and maintain economic stability so as to contribute to the progress and development of the African continent. The ECOWAS Summit is the supreme authority composed of heads of state and government of the member countries.
GEIDCO is committed to promoting power grid interconnection and meeting the global power demand in a clean and green way. Currently, GEIDCO has over 600 members from more than 80 countries and regions across 5 continents.