€250m boost for power sector as Germany’s Compact with Africa works to upgrade electricity transmission infrastructure Featured

The Federal Republic of Germany, under its “Compact with Africa” programme, has given the Government of Ghana €250 million to upgrade and expand the country’s electricity transmission infrastructure.

A memorandum of understanding to this effect was signed at Jubilee House in Accra on Tuesday by Jonathan Amoako-Baah, chief executive officer of Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo), on behalf of the Government of Ghana, and Sabine Dall’Omo, representing Siemens AG.

The MoU was signed in the presence of President Akufo-Addo and the president and chief executive officer of Siemens, Joe Kaeser.

With this agreement, Ghana will receive a quarter of the €1 billion fund set up under the compact by the German government to boost the private sector in African countries.

Expanding capacity

Under the agreement, the two companies will work to improve the national electricity grid capacity and stability, and also to help ensure that Ghana expands her ability to export power to neighbouring countries in West Africa.

Witnessing the signing, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo described the event as a very important development in the country’s power sector.

“The people from GRIDCo know, as well as I do, how necessary it is to undertake this project – the retooling and refitting of our transmission and grid system across the country,” the President said.

President Akufo-Addo said the importance of the project stems from the “kind of future that we want to design for ourselves as a rapidly industrialising economy, that is going to be focused on important infrastructural developments, as well as big resource developments in our bauxite, manganese and iron ore industries. All of this is going to have to be focused very much on reliable accessibility to power and the rest.”

Scored a first

Ghana is the first country in Africa to benefit from a significant transaction under the Compact with Africa (CwA) programme.

President Akufo-Addo said it signifies the trust that Siemens and the German government, under the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel, have in Ghana and how ready they are to work with the country.

“We welcome that expression of confidence, and we want to assure you that it is not one that we will abuse,” he said.

“We, on our part, are determined to work in transparency and openness with you, to make sure that this project comes to a proper conclusion.”

For his part, Mr Kaeser stressed: “The MoU will, together with our partner GRIDCo, modernise the whole grid of Ghana in steps, one at a time, and also organise the grids and bring the power to the people in a more efficient way.

It will also help young people and train them and educate them for the future.”

A brighter Africa

The Siemens chief executive added that the CwA initiative is about the future of the continent.

“It is about showing [African institutions] the way and on how to lead; and the first thing in this future in this vision is about electrification. It is about energy.

“The agreement is not only about supplying grids or products or solutions; it is about being a proud, responsible and an honoured partner to Ghana, and to the Ghanaian people, so that we can build this country for the future,” Mr Kaeser said.

In June 2017, President Akufo-Addo attended the G20 Africa Partnership Summit in Berlin where the CwA programme was announced, and at which Ghana became one of the beneficiary countries.

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Last modified on Thursday, 16 January 2020 17:05

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