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In response to the significant increase in the demand for electricity in Ghana as a result of the fast growing urbanization and robust economic growth in the country, the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group approved on Wednesday, February 26 in Tunis a US $30.47 million grant and a US $43.9 million loan to the Republic of Ghana to reinforce and extend the country’s electricity distribution network.
The Electricity Distribution System Reinforcement and Extension project, which will cost US $86.18 million, aims to improve the Ghanaian population’s access to reliable and quality electricity services. It involves the construction of new bulk supply point and switching substations in Kasoa, Juabeso and Asankragwa; the reinforcement of the distribution network in the Ashanti East and West regions; the reinforcement of the existing distribution system and extension of the system to cover the un-electrified portions of the peri-urban or rural communities in the Kasoa, Juabeso, Asankragwa and Volta River area; the deployment of off-grid solar photovoltaic systems in 60 lakeside and island communities; and the empowerment of key institutions in the power sector through institutional development and capacity building.
“One of the main barriers to sustainable economic development in Ghana is the inadequate power supply to urban, peri-urban and rural households and businesses. It is expected that with this project, Electricity Company of Ghana’s ability to provide reliable and quality power supply to its customers will improve, with all the positive socio-economic impact this will have on the businesses and the Ghanaian population as a whole,” said Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, Resident Representative of the AfDB Ghana Country Office.
The project will ultimately reach approximately 61,000 customers in Kasoa; 13,000 in Juabeso; and 9,000 in Asankragwa. It will connect an estimated 37,800 new households and 650 new businesses in the Kasoa District in the Central Region, Juabeso and Amenfi West Districts in the Western Region. New households will also be connected by off-grid solar systems in 60 lakeside and island communities. The project will provide modern and reliable energy to 30 schools and 30 health centres. Finally, the project will improve Electricity Company of Ghana’s operational efficiency and revenue base.
“This project has been designed to address not only the country’s needs in terms of power infrastructure investment, but also the weaknesses of the sector’s institutional framework and the related weak technical capacity and financial standing of most of the power sector players. It is our hope that the project will help improve the efficiency and financial health of the sector and hence pave the way for more affordable tariffs for the end users in the long run,” said Thierno Bah, Principal Energy Specialist at the AfDB and task manager for the project.