Vice President John Dramani Mahama on Tuesday gave the assurance that government would put in all the necessary measures to make Ghana a net exporter of electricity to neighbouring countries.
This, he said, government would do by improving on the generation, transmission and distribution systems that would ensure regular supply of the commodity to beneficiary countries.
Vice President Mahama gave this assurance when addressing "Power Summit 2011", a public consultation on the development of the Ghana Millennium Challenge Account Compact II in Accra.
The programme was to usher in the top-up and renewal of support to Ghana to undertake major socio-economic development projects at vantage areas of the country.
Vice President Mahama said government would also improve on the regulatory system, by encouraging private sector participation in the management and distribution of electricity in the country.
He said under the new power sector reforms, government would encourage other interested companies to participate in the management and distribution of the commodity to avoid monopoly and provide healthy competition for better service.
Vice President Mahama said Ghana had the comparative advantage in the production of energy and would therefore take advantage of the availability of oil and gas to generate power to speed up growth and development.
He said government was also working out modalities to eliminate the use of kerosene for domestic purposes as it was more expensive for the rural poor.
Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, Deputy Minister of Energy said there was the need to step up access and ensure reliable supply of power as it was becoming clear that energy would become the dominant force in driving the economic development of the country.
He said government’s plan was to develop an energy economy and become a net exporter of power by 2015 through increase in the current generation capacity from 2,000 megawatts to about 5,000 megawatts. This, he said, would also enable government to achieve 80 per cent access of electricity in the communities from the current 72 per cent.
In meeting the targets of providing access of electricity to about 8,000 communities, Alhaji Fuseini said government needed about 1.7 billion dollars.
Currently, government has about 966 million dollars, including a 350 million dollar US Exim Guaranty loan. Despite the improvement in supply, he said, there were still challenges in rural communities due mostly to poverty, inadequate funding, high cost of renewable energy and limited capacity.
He expressed the hope that Millenium Challenge Account Ghana Programme Compact II would help increase access to renewable energy, improve management of the power sector and minimise the impact on the environment.
The objectives of Ghana's Compact II include improved and reliable supply of power, improved regulations, institutional and capacity development and increased supply through private sector participation in power generation.
Mr Jonathan Bloom, Vice President of Millennium Challenge Account, said the first compact had helped to ensure agricultural transformation and expressed the hope that, it would begin the process for a sustainable power growth. Ghana accessed 547 million dollars under the MCA Compact I to accelerate infrastructural development and agriculture transformation.
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