There is substantial potential across West Africa to develop renewable energy resources for electricity generation. Despite the potential, a substantial portion of the population across the region remains without access to electricity. For cooking, a large majority of the population remains dependent on using biomass as the basic fuel in rudimentary cook stoves to meet their cooking needs. Energy poverty, especially in the case of those based in rural areas, has a markedly negative impact on agricultural productivity and the
quality of life.
This brief for policymakers, development agencies and other stakeholders in energy access in West Africa summarises the key findings and recommendations of a workshop held by the Smart Villages Initiative in Accra, Ghana in May 2016. The workshop examined the challenges and opportunities of off-grid energy provision in West Africa.