UK minister visits Ghana for 'solar revolution'

Grant Shapps, the United Kingdom's minister of state for International Development, is visiting Ghana this week, calling on the nation's citizens to become part of a "solar revolution."

"The time is right to kick-start a solar revolution in Ghana and across Africa," Shapps said. "It is not acceptable that two out of out three people in Africa simply do not have access to electricity. Without a reliable energy supply at home people simply cannot go about their daily lives. Children cannot do their homework after dark, men and women are unable to charge their mobile phones and families are forced to inhale the toxic fumes of kerosene lamps.

Shapps also said that he hopes the rest of Africa follows Ghana's lead in using solar energy.

"I look forward to working with the people of Ghana to spread solar energy right across the country, and hope the rest of Africa follows their lead in supporting the life-changing Energy Africa campaign," Shapps said.

Shapps is in Ghana for the purpose of kicking off the next phase of the U.K.'s Energy Africa initiative.

The people of Ghana have more access to electricity than most citizens of other sub-Saharan African nations, but the nation still experiences frequent power cuts and outages, which negatively impacts residences and businesses.

Less than 1 percent of households in Ghana use solar energy, despite the existence of solar technology there. So Shapps is speaking to citizens and business owners about ways to take advantage of solar and other off-grid energy solutions.

Shapps said universal energy access in Africa is not expected to become a reality until 2080.

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Department for International Development - UK

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