ACCRA, March 20, 2012 – The World Bank and the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo), in collaboration with the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS), the West Africa Gas Pipeline Authority (WAGPA) and Volta River Authority (VRA), is organizing West Africa’s first ever Gas Stakeholder’s Engagement Forum, from March 21-22 2012, at the Accra International Conference Centre.

A number of recent developments have generated great interest in this natural resource. These are the recent gas discoveries in West Africa, the availability of natural gas in the sub-region and lowered cost of electricity generation due to the use of gas. Also, there is an increasing desire to understand the evolving regional gas supply and demand situation and the need for regional integration to the advantage of all concerned.

In light of these developments, the two day forum is being held to foster the development of a sub-regional gas market for economic growth. It is also intended to build upon the completion of the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) Project, which has enabled the supply of Nigerian gas to Benin, Togo and Ghana. The West African Gas Pipeline Project, a flag ship project, is a joint initiative between the governments of Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Ghana under the auspices of ECOWAS.

The forum also seeks to provide the platform for decision-makers to discuss the gas market development opportunities, the challenges as well as solutions. It will discuss the importance of the regional energy market, the role of organisations such as ECOWAS and the energy needs of Nigeria, Ghana, Togo and Benin. Other topics to be discussed include the development of gas resources in Nigeria and Ghana, gas development plans of some regional gas producers and supply projections in the West African sub-region. It will also examine gas infrastructure development in the sub-region as well as private sector financing of energy projects.

In all, over 120 participants from 15 countries are expected to attend.

Participation is strictly by invitation.