Empowerment and energy
The West Africa region includes the 15 countries of the West African economic union (ECOWAS), which are: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. It also includes Chad and Mauritania.
Economic growth and regional cooperation have improved here in recent years. However, ongoing conflict with extremist groups, including Al Qaeda and Boko Haram, has forced more than 2.6 million people to flee escalating violence in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Mali. This forced migration creates additional challenges for the people who live here, in what is already one of the world’s poorest regions.
People are mainly reliant on agriculture for their livelihoods and have little or no access to reliable and affordable energy. This reduces their capacity to earn a decent living, to adapt to long-term climate changes and to endure and recover from shorter-term climate shocks such as droughts and floods.
We provide independent and professional technical assistance and advisory services to governments, NGOs, donors and the private sector. We work through a global team of more than 500 development professionals and other experts operating across the region. Our West Africa HQ is in Senegal, in the capital, Dakar.
Climate emergencies are set to make life even more difficult for farmers in West Africa. Our work helps them become more resilient.
Resilience that protects
Temperatures have risen over the last few decades in West Africa. Droughts, heavy rainfall and floods have all become more frequent and severe. These significant changes impact livelihoods and food security. Our unique combination of climate information and knowledge services helps farmers adapt to climate change. Read more…
Poor smallholder farmers, particularly women and young people, find it difficult to get hold of the information and knowledge services they need to make their farms resilient to climate change. We help them do just that.
In flood-prone urban areas, we’re providing climate information and knowledge services that contribute to improving community land-use, planning and the effectiveness of early warning systems.
We’re enhancing the role that climate information services play in ensuring that smallholder farmers have access to vital information to maintain productivity in the face of recurrent and increasing climate hazards, such as destructive droughts and floods.
In the coming years, we’ll support vulnerable and at risk communities in Senegal, Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso to help them become resilient to drought and other climate-related disasters We’ll inspire change at national level in these four countries and also at the level of the ECOWAS institutions, the Niger and Volta River Basin Authorities, and within organisations working at the regional level.
Energy that transforms
Energy poverty in West Africa stems from a lack of appropriate policies and regulations. It’s further hampered by the limited capacity of financial institutions to invest in energy supplies for hard-to-reach communities, such as smallholder farmers. We’re working on energy access and energy efficiency to develop agricultural value chains, improve the livelihoods and catalyse further investment in the energy sector. Read more…
Our focus in West Africa is to contribute to changes in policy and practice at national and regional levels that help people access productive and efficient energy sources. As well as ones that encourage the private sector to invest in decentralised energy services.
We’ll encourage selected agricultural businesses to collaborate with each other and with suppliers of energy to promote full and sustainable use of local and renewable energy sources.
We’ll play the role of key adviser, convener and facilitator across different sectors. We’ll use ingenious ideas, markets assessment, policy influence and knowledge sharing to ensure delivery to energy-poor people and a thriving private sector supported by appropriate funding mechanisms, regulations and policies.
We’ve been awarded the Zayed Future Energy Prize in recognition of our pioneering approach to renewable energy and sustainability.
Funding partners and clients for our work in West Africa include:
- Department for International Development – UK
- Africa Clean Energy
- Global Climate Partnership Fund
- Open Capital
- Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)