Ghana is receiving endorsement for her consistency in energy policy implementation under successive governments at the ongoing 3-day Africa Energy Conference in Capetown, South Africa.
Speaking to Starrfm.com.gh at the sidelines of the Africa Indaba Energy Conference, the former United Nations Under-Secretary-General and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All, Alhaji Dr Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella, lauded the consistency of energy policy implementation by successive governments in Ghana.
“And that is what you need in the energy revolution, consistent sustained innovation in the energy space, keeping the targets very clear, over 30/40 years if you are going to have real energy transformation; the same has happened for Ghana, from Nkrumah till now, Ghana in West Africa, is the best performer; 85 per cent electrification, nobody else, not even Nigeria with all the energy resources they have,” the Sierra Leonean power expert posited.
He further elaborated how Ghana’ s first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah started it all.
“Nkrumah had a vision with one dam to smelt bauxite, he can get from elsewhere.
The good news is Jerry Rawlings, picked up the energy, years and decades after Nkrumah as he started pushing rural electrification after Nkrumah. Successive governments after him have not messed with that. Politicians have not messed with rural electrification and investing in power. Of course, tactics have changed in between but the goal for achieving universal access has not changed and they have been consistent and investors have responded, ” Dr Yumkella , who is also chief executive of the Sustainable Energy For All Initiative further elaborated.
He underscored the fact that despite teething problems Ghana encountered, she has stayed the course of her energy vision.
” ..even Germany or US, they all have issues related to energy policy, but it is the direction, that is where the vision matters; the direction, consistency and governance within the sector to fight corruption.
“Energy systems everywhere; there is a lot of temptation for corruption but with Ghana, Ethiopia, Rwanda, these countries make it clear the utilities work well, they have to meet the key performance indicators, we have to see that people are connected; we have to see reliability that the grid is stable, we do not have too many power cuts. So these performance standards whether it is in Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda; the same in Cote D’Ivoire; it gives us hope,” he reiterated.
The Africa Indaba Energy Conference is looking at an African Perspective of Energy under the theme, ‘what are Africa Energy Ministers doing to stimulate Investment into the Energy Sectors of their countries’ with the Deputy Minister of Energy, in charge of Infrastructure and Finance Joseph Cudjoe representing Ghana.