Progress is being made in Western Africa as Côte d’Ivoire leads the way for developing standards on energy-efficient lighting. Earlier this fall, UN Environment’s United for Efficiency Initiative (U4E) and various project stakeholders met at Abidjan to conduct a stakeholder workshop on energy-efficient lighting and market-transformation strategy in accord with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) lighting project “Promotion of Energy Efficiency Lighting in Public, Commercial and Residential Buildings” in Côte d’Ivoire.
The event, organized by United for Efficiency and hosted by Côte d’Ivoire’s Ministère en charge de l’Energie, brought government agencies, standardisation agencies, energy-efficiency experts and private sector partners together to agree upon a national strategy for market transformation and energy efficiency lighting policy. United for Efficiency’s Centre of Excellence participated in the meeting, including Dr. Bruno Lafitte, lighting specialist, and Mr. Ignacio Duque-Oliart, environmentally sound management policy expert. The most notable policy advancements made at the workshop fell under the scope of Standardisation and setting Monitoring, Verification and Enforcement practices, notably the decision to implement a decree on market surveillance. The workshop provided technical knowledge transfer, sensitization and training for energy-efficient lighting. Other workshop objectives included collecting opinions for better environmental management, engaging in advice sharing on country potential savings and capacity building needs, and establishing a mode of operation and deadline for the national strategy.
Côte d’Ivoire is a pioneer in terms of performance standards in the region due to its ban on incandescent light bulbs. The ongoing project includes the development of Environmentally Sound Waste Management practices as well as technical support to improve the National Laboratory, establish laboratory testing infrastructure and strengthen technicians’ knowledge to support energy-efficiency regulation of lighting products. Côte d’Ivoire aims to strengthen its national capacities and set an example in the region by pushing for an update of the ECOWAS initiative.