Guinea Bissau is at the last stage of finalizing arrangements to establish a national electricity regulatory authority, in compliance with a June 2013 Directive by ECOWAS Ministers of Energy.
The disclosure was made on Sunday, 6th May 2018 in Bissau during a meeting of a visiting ECOWAS delegation to Guinea Bissau with the country’s Minister of Energy, Industry and Water Resources, Mr. Antonio Serifo Embalo and other top government officials.
According to the minister, the national regulatory authority could be in place before a planned ECOWAS energy ministers meeting in June 2018 in Cotonou, Benin. This, he said, was in demonstration of the country’s commitment to the electricity market as enshrined in the Directive.
The Directive obligates every Member State to set up an independent regulatory authority with tariff-setting and market monitoring powers, where none exists. It also provides for the launch of an ECOWAS electricity market, which has now been fixed for June 2018, alongside a series of meetings in Cotonou.
Earlier at an interactive session on 5th May 2018 in Bissau, the Chairman of ERERA, Professor Honoré Bogler, who led the ECOWAS delegation held a meeting with some government officials. Members of his delegation included ERERA’s Regulatory Council Member, Mr. Aly Mar Ndiaye and the Director of Administration and Finance of the West African Power Pool (WAPP), Mr. Baba Jarjusey.
Professor Bogler recounted some of the benefits of an independent national regulatory authority and stressed the need for active participation by Member States in the power market.
He described how the regional market would be organized and urged Member States to pay particular attention to the competitive phase, which is the second of the three phases of the market, as it has much implications for them.
Speaking on the contribution of WAPP, Mr. Jarjusey expressed the hope of an adequate supply of electricity through the pool, as well as affordability for citizens of the Community, and in particular, those from “small countries such as Guinea Bissau and The Gambia”.
The head of delegation and Director General of the Electricity and Water Resources of Guinea Bissau (EAGB), Mr. René Barros, expressed Guinea Bissau’s readiness to participate fully in the regional market. He assured the ECOWAS delegation that appropriate steps were being taken in this regard.
Other members of the Guinea Bissau delegation included the Director General in charge of Energy in the Ministry of Energy and Industry. Mr. Carlos de Pinho Brandao, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Energy and Industry, Mr. Claudio Indafa, and the Director of Studies, Projects and Planning of the EAGB, Mr. Mario Sanca.