The Acting United States Ambassador to Ghana, Christopher Lamora has disclosed 130,000 individuals have benefited from vital water systems under the First Ghana Power Compact program through investments in transportation and infrastructure.
Another batch of over 67,000 farmers have also been trained in advanced production techniques and supply chain management.
“As we implement the largest U.S government transaction under Power Africa, our focus is no longer on power generation, but rather on reliability, access and affordability – pillars of investment growth and economic growth,” Lamora noted.
He said a bulk of the US$498 million in grant funding will be spent on infrastructure – including sub stations, line bifurcation, metering and the like.
The Ambassador made this known on Thursday in Accra during the second anniversary commemoration of the Ghana Power Compact program.
He added that the real transformation under this partnership will occur under the 20-year concession of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), as recently ratified by Parliament.
Under the agreement, ECG’s assets have been handed over to a private operator to handle its power distribution.
Lamora said once the concession is complete, the country will reduce its current estimated distribution losses of US$8 million per week.
“We need to tap into the private know-how and investment capital that the power distribution services will bring,” he said.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has a 14-year relationship with Ghana and has signed two compacts at a combined value of over US$1 billion.
Under the arrangement, the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), together with other agencies are facilitators of the programme.
Since the commencement of the implementation phase, the MCC granted access to the first allocation of Compact funds to the amount of US$308.2 million bringing MCC’s investment in the Ghana Power Compact to US$498.2 million.
Following a letter submitted by the US ambassador last week acknowledging Ghana’s achievement of the first milestone to President Akufo-Addo, Ghana is to receive the second allocation of US$190 million Compact funds from the US through the MCC of US$190 million after government met all the required conditions to access the funds.
Professor Yaa Ntiamoah-Baidu, Board Chair of MiDA thanked the U.S government and the MCC for its longstanding partnership with Ghana. She added that she was thrilled by the successes chalked under the first batch of programs under the compact, despite its challenges.
“We have over the past two years worked assiduously to meet this critical milestone for Ghana and with these funds, MiDA together with its implementing entities will be able to carry out the planned investment and reform activities aimed at strengthening our country’s power distribution sector,’’ she said.
John Peter Amewu, Minster for Energy in his remarks said government will continue to embark on various demand-side management (DSM) programmes consisting of planning, implementation, and monitoring activities of electric utilities which are designed to encourage consumers to modify their level and pattern of electricity consumption.
By Mawuli Y. Ahorlumegah