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ECOWAS Status Report - Regional Energy Challenges

RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY STATUS REPORT 2014 | 19 The 15 ECOWAS Member States cover a diversity of demographic, socio-economic, and social contexts, each of which impacts energy demand and supply throughout the region.4 (See Table 1.) With a regional population of just over 334.6 million, ECOWAS accounts for approximately one-third of sub-Saharan Africa’s total population.5 (See Figure 1.) Three Member States (Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria) account for more than two-thirds (67.5%) of the region’s population.6 By 2050, Nigeria is projected to become the third most populous country in the world—behind only India and China—while Niger already has the world’s highest Total Fertility Rateiv at 7.6.7 With an average regional population growth rate of 2.5% and regional economic growth generally projected to accelerate, rising demand for energy and other resources will continue to pose a major challenge in the decades ahead, contributing to the urgent need to improve energy efficiency and deploy renewable energy solutions.8 The average annual rate of urbanisation (2010–2015) in ECOWAS Member States is just under 4%, marking a continuing trend of people moving to cities in search of economic opportunity.9 As of 2011, 43% of ECOWAS’s population lived in urban areas, although this figure varies widely on a national level from 17.8% in Niger to 62.6% in Cabo Verde.10 In Burkina Faso, urbanisation is particularly rapid (6% per year), and Lagos, Nigeria already ranks among the world’s megacities. v,11 The size and scope of ECOWAS economies vary widely. Nigeria, with a gross domestic product (GDP) of USD 478.5 billion, has by far the region’s largest economy, while Guinea-Bissau has a GDP of only USD 2.01 billion.12 GDP perw capita ranges from USD 800 in Niger to USD 4,400 in Cabo Verde.13 Most ECOWAS countries rank among the poorest in the world, with 13 Member States classified as having “Low Human Development” by the United Nations.14 FIGURE 1 | National Share of ECOWAS Total Population REGIONAL INTRODUCTION 01 REGIONAL OVERVIEW BENIN 3% TOGO 2.2%BURKINA FASO 5.5% LIBERIA 1.2% GUINEA-BISSAU 0.5% CÔTE D’IVOIRE 6.8% CABO VERDE 0.2% SENEGAL 4.1% MALI 4.9% NIGERIA 52.9% NIGER 5.2% GHANA 7.7% GUINEA 3.4% SIERRA LEONE 1.7% THE GAMBIA 0.6% Source: see Table 1 of this section. iv. Total Fertility Rate refers to the average number of children born to a woman during her lifetime. v. Defined as a metropolitan area with a total population in excess of 10 million people. (See Figure 1.)

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