Heads of state from Niger and Ghana attended an ECOWAS meeting in Niger on Thursday, 24 February, to launch the interconnection line, which will facilitate electricity trading in the region and extend power to Burkina Faso and Niger.
ECOWAS has said it plans to pool resources to establish an electricity market to end blackouts that have blighted its member states for decades.
The transmission project will be funded by the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the French Development Agency, the European Union with consideration from Nigeria, ECOWAS said, adding that construction work will be completed in 2024.
Africa's biggest economy, Nigeria, broke up its power generation and distribution monopoly almost 10-years ago in the hope that it would attract foreign investors. But despite Nigeria's privatisation of the sector, the amount of power produced has stagnated at around half its total capacity.