ECG, JICA builds capacity of electrical engineers, technicians from selected West African countries
Electrical engineers and technicians from four West African countries have started a training course at the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) Training School in Tema in the Greater Accra Region with the aim of enhancing their capacities.
The course funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) forms part of JICA's electrical engineers training for African countries project, under its technical cooperation support for Africa.
24 participants were selected from the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority of Sierra Leone, Liberia Electricity Company, National Water and Electricity Company in The Gambia and Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) of Ghana.
The training programme is in two parts, namely Engineering Training and Technicians Training Courses. It will end on November 24, 2023 and December 15, 2023 respectively.
The training for technicians would cover maintenance methods for power equipment including overhead lines and underground cables, while the course for the engineers will cover power system protection and control, distribution system planning and network design.
Opening the training session on Monday, October 30, 2023, the Deputy Managing Director of the ECG, Kwadwo Ayensu Obeng admonished the engineers and technicians to take the course seriously adding that the participants were expected to apply the lessons learnt to address the challenges with power supply and distribution in their respective countries.
He said the ECG Training Centre has trained a lot of foreign nationals including personnel from our sister ECOWAS countries and others across the globe including Afghanistan.
“Quite often, when we undertake training in other European or Asian countries, the case studies and challenges presented are different from what pertains in our home countries. For choosing ECG you stand to gain from examples and case studies similar to challenges in your home countries,” he said
He commended the JICA Ghana Office and the Japanese government for their continuous support to the ECG, including helping the transform the facility into a training centre of excellence.
The Director of the ECG Training School, Godfred Mensah said the ECG Training Centre has a close partnership with JICA since 2010 and both institutions have collaborated to implement a Technical Assistance Project on Electrical Engineers Training for African countries from 2013 to 2016.
This, he explained has contributed to enhancing the training capacity of the ECG Training Centre adding that the centre has been accredited by the National Board for Professional and Technician Examinations (NAPTEX) of Ghana and was recognized by the West African Power Pool (WAPP) and Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) Ghana, as one of their centres of excellence used for capacity building of engineers within the West African Sub-Region.
“The centre has evolved to become the beacon for engineering training in the sub-region and provides trainings and consultancy services for other corporate institutions, serving such entities as NEDCo,VRA, GRIDCo, Bui Power Authority, as well as electricity distribution and supply Institutions of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Gambia as well as Afghanistan.” He said adding that facility also serves other industries in the mining, oil and gas industries.
He charged the trainees to be diligent and interested in what they would be taught, to be able to manage the electricity supply system of their respective countries
The Chief Representative of JICA Ghana Office, Suzuku Momoko, said her organisation was committed to continuing its support for the sub-region in power production, supply and distribution systems.
She said for 60 years, JICA had cooperated with Ghana, Liberia, The Gambia and Sierra Leone, using Japanese technology to contribute to the economic and social development of the beneficiary countries.
Ms Momoko said in the energy sector, JICA strives to realise a society in which all people have stable access to affordable, clean energy and resources.
She said in Ghana, JICA has supported the reinforcement of substations in the reinforcement of power supply to Accra Central area as well sas improvement of the power distribution system in Tamale and Sunyani area through a grant aid scheme adding that in September this year, JICA has concluded a preparatory survey for a grant aid project for the construction of a new substation in Tamale.
Ms Momoko said in Sierra Leone and Liberia JICA has supported power distribution improvement in these countries and developed the capacities of engineers and technicians to formulate and implement proper operations of their power supply systems.
Ms Momoko said JICA through the ECG Training Centre have implemented the Electrical Engineers Training for African countries project since 2016 where ECG in collaboration with Japanese expects to develop comprehensive and structured textbook and other training materials to enhance the capacity of trainees.
“We are happy to observe that even after seven years from the project completion, ECG Training Centre continuously provides training to engineers and technicians using the training materials developed by the project.” She said