The Joint Meeting of ECOWAS Ministers in charge of Mines and Hydrocarbons was held on November 25, 2022 in Dakar, Senegal. The ministerial meeting was preceded by a joint meeting of national mining and hydrocarbons experts held on 23 and November 2022.
In his address, Mr. Sédiko Douka, Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy and Digitalization of ECOWAS, underlined that the geo-extraction sector has created employment opportunities and contributed fully to the overall economic production. of the region. To this end, he underlined the considerable efforts that the respective governments continue to make to enhance the contribution of the mining and hydrocarbon sectors to the socio-economic development of our countries and the region in general.
Dr. Aissatou Sophie Halima, Minister of Petroleum and Energy of the Republic of Senegal, welcomed the ministers to the land of Teranga. She pointed out that the voice of Africa on the use of natural gas is being heard, especially during the 27th Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP27) organized in Egypt. She also appealed to ECOWAS to provide more support to young people and women who suffer more from energy insecurity in our region.
In the opening address by H. E. Mr. Amadou Ba, Prime Minister of the Republic of Senegal, read by Mr. Oumar Sarr, Minister of Mines and Geology, he welcomed the ministers and commended their daily efforts in favor of a harmonious geo-extractive sector in West Africa. He also highlighted the huge potentials of the geo-extractive sector in the region, which he said are seen as engines of growth for West Africa. The Prime Minister expressed his gratitude to technical and financial partners, as well as private sector actors, for their contribution and active support to these capital-intensive sectors.
The joint ministerial meeting made it possible to examine the report of the joint meeting of experts and to adopt the draft ECOWAS Regional Petroleum Code; the Draft ECOWAS Model Regulations on Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining and its Implementation Strategy; the Draft ECOWAS Charter on Gender Mainstreaming in the Geo-extraction Sector, and the Draft Regional Study Report on the ECOWAS Strategy for the Development of Raw Materials and Strategic Mineral Inputs and recommended them for final adoption by the institution’s decision-making bodies.
With regard to the status of application of the ECOWAS Directive C/DIR.1/9/2020 on the harmonized specifications of automotive fuels (gasoline and diesel) in our community area, the ministers decided to take the necessary measures necessary, as quickly as possible, with a view to incorporating the directive into their national legislation, taking into account in particular the advantages of its implementation, the promotion of an integrated hydrocarbons market, the increase in intra-regional trade in petroleum products, reducing air pollution and protecting public health.
They also decided to engage in the identification of appropriate solutions to remedy the current difficulties encountered in the implementation of the directive, in collaboration with the ECOWAS Commission.
Furthermore, the Ministers approved the merger of the West Africa Gas Pipeline Project (WAGP) and the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline Project (NMGP) into a “single project” as well as the proposed new route, Considering that the merger will make it possible to federate efforts with a view to more diligent development of these infrastructures; they recommended that the Conference of Heads of State and Government adopt a community act on this new development.
The meeting was attended by ministers responsible for mines and hydrocarbons from ECOWAS member states. The ministers were accompanied by their respective national experts. Also present were officials from the African Natural Resources Management and Investment Center (ANRMIC) of the African Development Bank (AfDB)