Three West African countries – Benin, Mali and Togo – have participated
in the project ‘Energy, Ecodevelopment 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.
The governments of Mali, Benin and Togo place a high priority on
providing collective energy services: energy that delivers health and
education benefits and clean water to society. They prioritise these
services over the provision of household energy, because collective
energy services play an important role in development and poverty
However, they have been slow to promote renewable energy as a way of
increasing their societies’ access to energy. The lack of recent,
reliable data on renewable energy, energy efficiency and the
vulnerability of the energy sector to climate change is no excuse for
All three countries are decentralising power to subnational governments.
They must ensure that their institutional and regulatory frameworks
define and reinforce the role of these decentralised authorities in
energy policies and programmes.
The key to defining reasonable timeframes and priorities for national
energy policy and programmes is to involve sectors beyond the energy
sector, such as health, education, decentralisation and development, in
Labrlet, M.; Flebig, C.; Labrousse, M. INSIDE STORY: Smart Energy Pathways in Benin, Mali and Togo. HELIO International, Paris, France (2015) 6 pp.