Ghana joins initiative to boost residents' access to solar-powered electricity

Ghana President John Dramani Mahama
Ghana President John Dramani Mahama | Contributed photo
Ghana is joining a continent-wide effort to spread solar energy to African nations, and with it, better access to electricity.

United Kingdom International Development Minister Grant Shapps recently visited the nation to discuss the initiative with President John Dramani Mahama, who agreed to join the Energy Africa initiative.

"It is shocking that two in three people in sub-Saharan Africa still lack access to electricity," Shapps said. "People in Ghana face regular power cuts, and energy is unaffordable for many, yet less than 1 percent of households use solar technology."

The initiative will help millions of citizens in Ghana's remote and urban areas access more reliable, affordable, clean energy.

Before the end of November, a Partnership Agreement between Ghana and Energy Africa will be signed.

During his visit to Ghana Shapps met with customers already receiving mobile pay-as-you-go technology through United Kingdom-based PEG Ghana, as well as with families living in some of Ghana's poorest areas who have just received access to solar technology.

Millions of Ghanians still use kerosene for power, which lets off toxic fumes and is not cost-effective.

"I've seen for myself the difference solar energy can make to the people of Ghana. Nightfall no longer needs to mean darkness," Shapps said. "With British-backed technology, families can save money on fuel, feel safe at night and run businesses from home."

Current estimates are that Africa will not have universal energy access until 2080; the Energy Africa initiative aims to accelerate this estimate by 50 years.

Organizations in this story

Department for International Development - UK

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