The European Union (EU) is supporting Ghana’s investment acceleration drive in renewable energy with £10 million to streamline the implementation of sector 2 of “Productive Investments for agriculture in the Savannah Ecological Zones”.
This was contained in the action document for contribution of the African Investment Planform (AIP) in support of boosting renewable energy programme between the EU and Ghana. The Savannah Ecological Zones consist of all the regions in the northern parts of the country.
According to the EU, the action is a blending operation via the AIP which will be implemented by one of the blending eligible Development Finance Institutions (DFIs).
The project is financed under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) National Indicative Programme (NIP) – the EU’s main instrument for providing development aid to underdeveloped areas including Africa.
It is also geared towards ensuring access to affordable, reliable and modern energy for all – being goal seven of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
Despite the relative growth in Ghana’s energy sector, there is still a significant gap with regards to access to reliable energy between residents in urban and peri-urban areas.
Ghana’s master plan on renewable energy policy aims at integrating sustainable energy and access in order to leverage on economic development, social equality and environmental protection.
Thus, making considerable advancement in access to renewable energy is expected to benefit a number of people in the Savanah Ecological Zones and the adjoining communities.
Currently, renewable energy and energy efficiency remain marginal in the country. Although Ghana’s policy and regulatory framework are supportive to the two, the incentives are inadequate for the private sector whereas costs are high and access to suitable finance remains a major challenge.
The EU has been supporting Ghana on major key initiative areas. The Union remains Ghana’s major trade partner, accounting for about 46 percent of the country’s total external economic activities. Inflows of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Ghana has considerably increased in recent times with Ghana among the top five recipients of FDI in Africa. The EU is already engaged to provide access to modern and sustainable energy services for 100 million people in Africa by 2020 through the Africa-EU Energy Partnership.
Last September, the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved a US$1.5 million grant from its Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), to assist Ghana’s s renewable energy investment drive and support government’s efforts to overcome technical, financial, regulatory and institutional barriers to scaling-up renewable energy investments in the country.
By Dundas Whigham