Ghana connects 72% of population to electricity but 3 northern regions below national average

About 72% of the Ghanaian population have access to electricity since the National Electrification Scheme (NES) was instituted in 1990, Minister of Energy Dr Joe Oteng Adjei has said.

Ghana has a population of about 24.7 million, according to the 2010 census survey.

According to the Minister, at the inception of the NES, only about 15% of the total population of Ghana had access to electricity supply.

Dr Oteng Adjei indicated that a decade later, according to the 2000 population and housing survey, the number of households that were connected to the national electricity grid rose to 43% and the rate stood at 54% in 2008

“From January 2009 to date, the rate has been increased from 54% to above 72% and indications are that with current projects slated for completion in 2012, this rate should increase considerably,” Dr Oteng Adjei told reporters in Accra early October 2011.

Despite this impressive national average of 72%, the Minister noted that the access rates for the three northern regions are clearly below the national average.

“The Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions have coverage rates of 43.52%, 30.39% and 31.95% respectively,” he said.

Dr Oteng Adjei disclosed that government has secured over $300 million for electrification projects in the three regions. This amount is to be used to connect 1400 communities in the three regions to the national electricity grid (i.e. Northern: 500, Upper East: 500, Upper West: 400), he said.

Ghana has made some strides in the rural electrification as the Minister said about 581 communities have been connected to the national electricity grid as at August 2011 under the Self-Help Electrification Program (SHEP-4) Phase-2 electrification works by China International Water & Electric Corporation.

It is expected that about 600 more communities would be connected to the national grid by 2012 under this project, according to Dr Oteng Adjei.

He highlighted some of the achievements chalked between 2010 and 2011.

“One hundred and sixty seven (167) additional communities were also connected under the Ministry’s own rural electrification program, also under SHEP-4.”

“Works for the extension of electricity to 39 out of the 82 communities in the Ashanti and Eastern Regions under BNP Paribas facility have been completed while the completion level for the rest is at 80%.”

“Construction works have also begun in 200 communities in the Western Region and survey works are on-going in the Central and Brong Ahafo Regions under the project for the extension of electricity to 1,400 communities countrywide by Messrs Weldy Lamont & Associates. This project is being jointly funded by a facility from the US Exim Bank and the Government of Ghana at a cost of $350 million,” he said.

By Ekow Quandzie

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