Three West African countries – Benin, Mali and Togo – have participated in the project ‘Energy, Eco-development and Resilience in Africa (EERA)’, which offers lessons to other countries on approaches that can be taken toward a ‘Smart Energy Path’. This strategy aims to meet peoples’ energy needs in an environmentally sustainable, resilient way, and is guided by a participatory decision-making process.
At present, energy services in the three countries are inadequate and unsustainable. To overcome this, the EERA project reinforced national technical and institutional capacities. It also facilitated a multi-sectoral, participatory approach to decision-making in each country. This went beyond the ministries in charge of energy and included analyses of national energy systems and policies. The project created national and regional liaison committees to promote the principles of the Smart Energy Path to decision-makers and encourage their integration into the institutional energy framework of each country.
This Inside story delivers key messages on the principles of a smart energy path, the need for a multi-sectoral participatory approach and the way forward in planning smart energy paths for Benin, Mali and Togo.