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ECREE bids farewell to pioneer executive director

May 7, 2020, 11:25 AM

The ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) bade farewell to its pioneer Executive Director Mr. Mahama Kappiah, after ten years at the helm of the Centre.

Effective May 1, 2020, Mr. Kappiah has been appointed to serve as the ECOWAS Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York by the President of the ECOWAS Commission.

Mr. Kappiah led the creation of ECREEE and became its first Executive Director in 2010, at a time when the regional sustainable energy landscape was in its infancy. Today, ECREEE has positioned itself as the hub for promoting sustainable energy development in the ECOWAS region. In doing so, ECREEE has also become a prominent voice in the global effort to tackle the intertwined issues of energy, poverty and climate change. Prior to joining ECREEE, Mr. Kappiah was also eminent in the establishment of the West African Power Pool (WAPP), and the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulation Authority (ERERA).

Under Mr. Kappiah’s leadership, ECREEE has become the foremost energy agency for the ECOWAS region, driving the creation of favourable framework conditions for the regional sustainable energy market by supporting activities directed to mitigate existing technological, financial, economic, business, legal, policy, institutional, knowledge and capacity related barriers.  He oversaw the increase of ECREEE’s annual budget from a modest USD 2 million at inception to over USD 15 million by 2020. Since 2017, he has led the implementation of the ECREEE Strategic Plan, with emphasis on facilitating the implementation of concrete on-the-ground projects. The plan provides a strategic agenda for ECREEE focused on leading the efforts of the West African community to realize its vision of universal access to clean and affordable energy by 2030.To crown his success story, Mr. Kappiah and his committed staff in collaboration with donor partners were able to introduce one of the biggest energy forums across the globe; The ECOWAS Sustainable Energy Forum ESEF which is now a household event, attracted stakeholders and senior government officials in the energy sector to network and exchange ideas on the latest technologies and strategies in the sustainable energy terrain.

In recognition of his exemplary contributions to the sustainable energy sector, Mr. Kappiah received the African Energy Leader of the Year Award for outstanding performance and innovation in the energy industry, and the Green Future Leadership Award for leading positive social change in 2017.  He is a board member for key international renewable energy organisations, including the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), the Clean Energy Solutions Centre, and is a member of the Africa-Europe High-Level Platform for Sustainable Energy Investments (SEI Platform).

Mr. Kappiah expressed profound gratitude to the government and people of Cabo Verde for providing ECREEE with a very special home. He also appreciated the ECOWAS Member States and ECREEE Partners for their support and collaboration. The outgoing Director also paid tribute to the strong dedication and professionalism of the ECREEE staff. He appealed to supporters of ECREEE to continue to play a constructive role in strengthening the Centre as a great institution and be even more responsive to the needs of ECOWAS citizens. Mr. Kappiah noted that now, more than ever, the role of sustainable energy solutions is critical and encouraged ECREEE to play a key role in supporting ECOWAS Member States overcome the health and development crisis caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Kappiah is succeeded by Mr. Bah Saho, a Gambian, who will serve as the acting executive director of ECREEE, effective 1st May 2020. Mr. Saho joined ECREEE in 2010 and has over 25 years of experience in the energy sector, most recently serving as the principal programme officer - Renewable Energy.

As Mr. Kappiah embarks on a new challenge, the ECREEE Secretariat wishes him every success as the ECOWAS Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

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