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ECOWAS Standards Experts Meet in Accra to Build Capacities on Solar PV Off-Grid Products

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Experts from Ghana, Nigeria, Cabo Verde, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and The Gambia have convened in Accra to build their capacities on the implementation and enforcement of the use of Off-Grid Solar PV products and technologies. This three-day workshop is part of the Regional Off-Grid Electricity Access Project (ROGEAP) funded by the World Bank, in partnership with the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) and the Directorate General for International Co-operation (DGIS) of the Government of Netherlands.

The meeting aims to enforce two standards related to solar PV Off-Grid products up to 350 watts and adopt common testing methods for solar products, services, and technologies. The standards experts, drawn from institutions responsible for enforcing standards in the sub-region, will share their knowledge and ideas on the use of Off-Grid Solar PV products, technologies, and services in their respective countries.

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The ROGEAP project, launched by the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREE) and the West African Development Bank, aims to increase access to electricity for households, businesses, and public institutions in a bid to provide universal access to electricity to the sub-region by 2030. The project covers the ECOWAS region and the Sahel, creating a regional market and improving access to finance for stand-alone solar system businesses.

The meeting in Accra will enable the standards experts in the sub-region to enforce two standards related to solar PV Off-Grid products up to 350 watts and adopt a common testing method for solar products. For the most part, enforcement of standards in every country is critical as it enhances consumer confidence to ensure value for money. It also ensures a level playing field for businesses to thrive and creates awareness for the public to identify and differentiate between acceptable products and sub-standard ones.

In a nutshell, this workshop is an important step towards the successful implementation of the ROGEAP project, which is set to increase access to electricity, create a regional market, and improve access to finance for stand-alone solar system businesses. The adoption of common standards and testing methods will ensure quality products and services for consumers, enhance the confidence of consumers, and level the playing field for businesses to thrive.

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