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Ghana Power Compact ends

BY: Emelia Ennin Abbey
Martin Eson-Benjamin (middle), the Chief Executive Officer of the MiDA, with Mahmoud Bah (left), the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the MCC, and Khalia Mounsey, the Deputy Resident Country Director, the MCC, addressing journalists in Accra
Martin Eson-Benjamin (middle), the Chief Executive Officer of the MiDA, with Mahmoud Bah (left), the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the MCC, and Khalia Mounsey, the Deputy Resident Country Director, the MCC, addressing journalists in Accra

Ghana has successfully utilised all the $316 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) support for improvement in power distribution.

The amount is under the second power compact, which the government of Ghana signed with the United States of America (USA) for a grant to enable Ghana to make interventions to improve power supply and resolve losses.

In an interaction with journalists last Friday, June 3, 2022, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the MCC, Mahmoud Bah, commended the country for executing all projects under the $316 million Power Compact.

Milestone

The success of the first compact, he said, had led Ghana to celebrate an unprecedented milestone of the second $316 million MCC-Ghana Power Compact, which he said had improved the country's power sector.

He, therefore, called for more private sector participation in the energy sector.

“To keep pace, we need to double down on reforms, invite more private sector participation and continue to reduce technical and commercial losses. While we add more capacity, we should not lose sight of leakages,” he stated.

Investment

Mr Bah called on stakeholders in the energy sector to maintain the investment made under the compact and add new ones that would allow Ghanaians to benefit far into the future.

"To ensure that we have reliable electricity to keep the productive sector going, the second phase of the compact led to the implementation of a comprehensive programme, including the construction of Bulk Supply Points (BSPs) and substations, investment in soft infrastructure such as IT management systems, energy efficiency programmes, capacity-building and gender integration in the power sector," he said.

Mr Bah said through the construction of the two BSPs, which were the two largest in the country, two primary sub-stations and other IT investments, the MCC-Ghana power compact had increased the transmission network capacity by 1,015 MVA, representing 10 per cent of total transmission capacity.

Gender integration

On gender integration in the power sector, he said more than 300 female students in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) benefited from an internship programme at leading energy sector institutions.

He said over 600 female STEM students participated in the mentoring and training for professional growth and development.

Background

The compact intends to invest up to $498.2 million to support the transformation of Ghana's electricity sector and stimulate private investment.

The United States, through the MCC’s compact, invested mainly in Ghana's energy infrastructure, with the Millennium Development Agency as implementers.

The compact ended yesterday as scheduled.

In the MCC global portfolio, Ghana became one of the few countries that had now completed two compacts amounting to about $860 million towards projects to boost inclusive economic growth.

The first compact signed in 2012, led to the investment of $547 million in the agricultural sector through private sector-led agribusiness development and major public works projects in Accra, including the George W. Bush N1 Highway.

Improvement

The Chief Executive Officer of the MiDA, Martin Eson-Benjamin, lauded the US government for providing the funds for the execution of major projects in the power sector.

He listed some of the major projects executed under the MCC-Ghana power compact as the Pokuase and Kasoa BSPs, the University of Ghana Medical Centre and the Ellen Moran Primary substations at Kanda.

He said the compact projects also upgraded the power system in 10 markets in Accra and Tamale, and the establishment of the Air Conditioner and Refrigerator Test Laboratory at the Ghana Standards Authority,

“The compact has supported the installation of more than 14,000 new energy-efficient streetlights with Metered Management Systems, replacing old inefficient lighting and setting a new standard for energy savings, and also training more than 600 female students in the field of science,” he said.

He said the compact also supported the development of a curriculum for teaching energy efficiency in schools and the establishment of energy auditing centres in three technical universities to strengthen Ghana's position as a leader in West Africa for energy efficiency.