The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in collaboration with the ECOWAS Center for Renewable Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) under the West African Clean Cooking Energy Alliance (WACCA) initiative and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) Programme, recently organised a day’s capacity building forum for journalists on sustainable management of Forest and Bio-energy Systems reporting.
The one-day interface was held at a local hotel in Banjul. The overall objective of the workshop was to build the capacity of journalists and other communicators in a bid to better play their role especially on issues regarding access to sustainable energy for cooking among others.
According to officials, it is in this light that the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) and its partners launched the West African Clean Cooking Alliance (WACCA) initiative in October 2012 to promote a wide distribution of efficient, affordable, sustainable and safe cooking fuels and devices to the ECOWAS population by 2030.
At the opening ceremony, Mahama Kappiah, executive director of ECREEE, said the workshop aims to build the capacity of journalists and other communication experts in advocacy. This will help in the awareness creation through information dissemination to stakeholders along the value-chain.
The Bio-energy policy he went on, gives prominence to providing knowledge and skills to enhance the efficient production and utilization of biomass resource to contribute to increase in sustainable energy access.
“I am glad that both the WACCA initiative and Bio-energy Strategy and Policy have progressed steadily and a detailed, systematic implementation of actions and activities are being carried out in the member states of the ECOWAS region,” he stated.
DG Kappiah reiterated his institution’s commitment to collaborating with the authorities in the Gambia.
He assured that ECREEE will continue to provide technical assistance in developing strategic documents for The Gambia such as the National Action Plan for Clean Cooking, National Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NREAPs) and the SE4ALL Agenda, among other national activities.
by Samba Jawo