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MCC, Ghana complete $316 million power compact

BY: Kweku Zurek
MCC Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Mahmoud Bah (center), receives a tour of the Pokuase Bulk Supply Point (BSP), which is one of the four power stations built as part of the $316 million MCC-Ghana Power Compact.
MCC Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Mahmoud Bah (center), receives a tour of the Pokuase Bulk Supply Point (BSP), which is one of the four power stations built as part of the $316 million MCC-Ghana Power Compact.

The U.S. government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has announced the completion of the five-year, $316 million MCC-Ghana Power Compact, celebrating a partnership that created a more "effective, sustainable, and inclusive power sector in Ghana".

In a statement issued last Monday, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer, MCC, Mahmoud Bah said, “Today, we join the government of Ghana in celebrating a successful five-year grant programme that has had a positive and measurable impact on the country’s power sector.

“Working together through the MCC-Ghana Power Compact, we built four major power stations, including the country’s two largest bulk supply points. We also instituted progressive reforms that will empower Ghanaian women to fully participate in and capitalize on opportunities in the power sector. The reforms are also to help bring reliable electricity into the homes and businesses of millions of Ghanaians which is a critical step in alleviating poverty across Ghana.”

The MCC and the government "worked together to accelerate economic growth by investing in infrastructure and programs that provide more reliable, affordable electricity to Ghanaian institutions, businesses, and households and by expanding opportunities for women in the power sector".

The MCC-Ghana Power Compact led the construction on all power substations as well as reforms to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) — which provides power to critical medical facilities such as the University of Ghana Medical Center and the Greater Accra Regional Hospital; installed more than 14,000 energy-efficient LED streetlights; and facilitated internship, development, and training opportunities in Ghana’s power sector for more than 700 female students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

The ECG also adopted a new gender policy and action plan, targeting greater female recruitment and employee promotion and will partner with the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Engendering Utilities Program to continue making progress on creating a more inclusive, diverse energy sector workforce.

“Affordable access to electricity creates opportunities — for businesses, for women and underrepresented groups, and for the well-being of families,” added DCEO Bah. “Our accomplishments are many, but work remains to be done.”

“All too soon the second Ghana compact has drawn to a close,” said Prof. Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu, Board Chairperson for the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA).

“While implementing the [Kasoa Project], and the compact program as a whole, MiDA has been resilient and has worked diligently to put the $316 million compact funds received from the U.S. government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation and the $31 million government counterpart funds to very good use. It is our prayer that these assets will yield fruits that will support the development of the power sector, boost private sector investments, improve productivity; and raise the earning potential from self-employment for men and women in the coverage area.”

The Ghana Power Compact is the second MCC-Ghana partnership. The first compact, which closed in 2012, successfully implemented a $547 million investment in the country’s transport and agricultural sectors estimated to provide economic opportunities for over 1.2 million Ghanaians.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation is an independent U.S. government development agency working to reduce global poverty through economic growth. Created in 2004, MCC provides time-limited grants that pair investments in infrastructure with policy and institutional reforms to countries that meet rigorous standards for good governance, fighting corruption and respecting democratic rights.