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Seth A. Mahu (right), Deputy Director, Power, in charge of Renewable Energy, addressing the participants. With him is El Hadji Sylla, Senior Advisor, ECOWAS Commission
Seth A. Mahu (right), Deputy Director, Power, in charge of Renewable Energy, addressing the participants. With him is El Hadji Sylla, Senior Advisor, ECOWAS Commission

Nation to achieve universal electricity coverage by 2024 — Energy Minister

The government is working towards achieving universal access to electricity by the third quarter of next year, the Minister of Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has said.

Currently, the country's electricity coverage is 88.8 per cent.

By the definition of the United Nations (UN), attainment of universal access is to have 90 per cent of the population enjoy electricity either in the form of grid, off-grid or a combination of both.

"We have a number of projects that are being implemented to achieve this target.

The 88.8 per cent we have now is as of the second quarter of this year.

We will be updating the figures as and when we complete ongoing projects,” he added.

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This was contained in a speech delivered on behalf of the minister by the Deputy Director of Power in charge of Renewable Energy of the ministry, Seth A. Mahu, at the launch of an ECOWAS Regional off-grid Electricity Access Project (ROGEAP) in Accra yesterday.

The $338.7 million ROGEAP project seeks to provide countries with the needed support to foster sustainable access to electricity.

The project is being funded by the World Bank with co-financing from Clean Technology Fund (CTF) and the Directorate General of International Cooperation (DGIS) of the government of Netherlands.

Among key objectives of the project are identifying policy barriers to the growth of standalone solar market, helping countries to adopt Common External Tarifffs (CETs) to facilitate cross-border trade of standalone solar products and providing access to finance solar companies and beneficiaries.

It covers 19 countries, including Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, the Gambia, Nigeria, Togo, Senegal and Mauritania.

Significance

Dr Prempeh described the initiative as timely, saying it had the potential to facilitate efforts being made by the government to achieve 100 per cent electricity coverage by 2030 in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Seven.

He said to achieve the remaining 10 per cent electricity coverage by 2030, the government was promoting mini-grids and standalone systems.

"The government’s objective is to deploy 200 of such solutions by 2030, reaching half a million people," the minister added.

Dr Prempeh said five of the mini grids had successfully been piloted under the Ghana Energy Development project with funding from the World Bank, while the Swiss government had also funded the construction of three mini-grids in communities in the Ada East District, bringing the number to eight.

"We also received funding from the Climate Investment Fund to scale up and we are constructing 35 mini-grids,” he said. 

Collaboration

The Coordinator of ROGEAP, Sylla El Hadji, described the project as a game-changer in the provision of electricity to hard-to-reach communities in Africa.

He urged the beneficiary countries to work together to ensure the effective implementation of the project to benefit their citizens. 

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