Cuba and the ECOWAS Commission have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to implement a regional programme on renewable energy that will also promote energy efficiency in the 15 member states, according to a statement from the commission on Wednesday.
According to the statement, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, and the visiting Cuban Minister of Basic Industry (MINBAS), Mrs. Yadira Garcia Vera, signed the MOU within the framework of South-South Cooperation.
The MOU is consistent with the intergovernmental agreement signed in 2004 between Cuba and ECOWAS to regulate and implement cooperation between the ECOWAS and Cuba.
Specifically, the programme involves the donation of one million compact fluorescent lamps to match the purchase of a similar number by ECOWAS under a two-phased pilot project to replace existing bulbs with the more efficient compact fluorescent lamps.
Based on the success of the project, ECOWAS is expected to seek funding from international organisations to replicate the programme in all the member states.
To this effect, MINBAS is providing an energy consultant, who will operate from the ECOWAS Commission for a period of one year and provide necessary technical support as well as train the personnel required for the project.
On its part, ECOWAS will provide logistics and subsistence for the Cuban consult ant and technical assistants who will organise the pilot programmes and their extension to the other member states when a decision has been subsequently made to extend the scheme.
The MOU also includes scholarships for West Africans on the energy efficiency programme.