Under the auspices of the Ministry of Energy and the World Bank’s Ghana Energy Sector Transformation Initiative Project (GESTIP), a stakeholder engagement exercise took place over the weekend at the Accra Metropolitan Authority.
The event, which drew in various energy sector agencies, religious bodies, civil society organisations, professional bodies and tradesmen and women, among others, aimed at updating stakeholders on some of the gains under GESTIP, which is funded by the World Bank through several presentations with a discussion segment.
Setting out the background to the project, its coordinator, Ing James Demitrus, noted that over the years, Ghana’s energy sector has faced some challenges over the years , including gas supply shortages; high payments for installed capacity to Independent Power Producers (IPPs), high distribution losses and low revenue collections by ECG among others. “Ghana has implemented a wide range of power sector reforms, including unbundling its power sector and attracting private investment through independent power producers (IPPs) to improve supply of electricity”, he noted.
GESTIP, Ing Demitrus further stated, is aimed at strengthening the capacity of the power sector to implement sector reforms and improve energy sector planning and coordination in Ghana.
According to the project coordinator, in the lifetime of GESTIP, 46 consultancy activities have been undertaken to resource the beneficiary institutions with the required knowledge and information to further improve their effectiveness and efficiency.
Further, the necessary software and hardware tools have been procured for some of the beneficiary institutions to improve the efficiency of the agencies.
He also disclosed that 142 energy sector staff have been trained in technical fields as well as project management to build their capacity to implement the reforms in the sector.
Beneficiaries of the $20m project, which became effective in February 2019 and will close on 31 December 2023, include the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo), Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), Energy Commission (EC), Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Northern Electricity Development Company (NEDCO), Volta River Authority (VRA) and the Ministry of Energy.
A similar stakeholder engagement event is slated to take place at the University for Development Studies, Tamale, on Friday 22nd December 2023.