Situation Analysis of Energy and Gender Issues in ECOWAS Member States 2015
The ECOWAS region is dynamic and fast growing with many human and natural resources to its advantage, but it is also facing many challenges related to population, infrastructure, social services, security, migration, economy and environment. Gender norms in ECOWAS, along with gender neutral policy directives and regulatory environments, though evolving, still retain legacy elements limiting the potential of women and men to pursue lives that are free and fulfilling.
While rich in energy resources, the ECOWAS region lags in access to modern energy such as electricity, liquid and gaseous fuels, modern cooking options, and mechanical power. Around half the population is unelectrified and three quarters continue to cook with traditional biomass. While access to modern energy services is documented as being a necessary, if not sufficient, condition for economic growth and development, the region’s energy sector struggles with low investment, inadequate infrastructure, and high costs, which are in turn met with low ability to pay on behalf of consumers.