Ghana’s District Assemblies urged to develop energy plans
Mr Fredrick Ken Appiah, Consultant of the Energy Commission, has urged District Assemblies in Ghana to develop sustainable plans that would help improve access and efficient use of energy.
The consultant also reiterated the importance of increased youth involvement in energy policy and planning at the national, regional and district levels in the country to ensure that the impact is felt and help bring about strategic improvement in the lives of the citizenry.
Mr Appiah said this at a day’s workshop of the Youth Volunteer for the Environment (YVE), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) on capacity building for youth and civil societies in renewable energy policy and planning in Accra.
The workshop under the theme; “Towards a Stronger Youth Participation in Energy Governance in Ghana,” was aimed at building the capacity of youth to understand the concept of energy policy, planning and to advocate effectively.
He discussed the process of energy planning with the participants and highlighted the importance and possibility for Ghana to take up the opportunities in the sustainable energy for all initiatives to invest in solar and wind energy, small hydro and improved cook-stoves.
Mr Lovans Owusu-Takyi, Executive Director of YVE and organisers of the workshop, expressed regret that, though government had created good policy documents, there is less awareness of energy policies at the grassroot level, as well as less action towards the promotion of clear energy solutions to the people.
He said YVE is spearheading the development of youth capacity building to be able to understand Ghana and West Africa energy policy and governance and advocate effectively.
Mr Owusu-Takyi called for increased investment in renewable energy to enable communities to have sustainable access to energy products that would benefit the poor.
He said energy, climate change and sustainable development is the major focus of his organisation for 2013, and was currently mobilising a joint effort of youth environmental associations to be involved in energy governance.
He suggested that government should commit to implementation plans to ensure the achievement of energy access, efficiency and renewable targets that can be monitored by all, continue to champion the cause of gender mainstreaming in the planning and implementation of sustainable Energy (SE4ALL) initiatives.
“Clear strategies and plans to ensure universal access to energy for households, enterprises and community services as well as inclusion of support to decentralised and renewable energy entrepreneurs including production, operation and maintenance and job creation,” he stated.
Mr Gideon Commey, President of the Ghana Youth Environmental Movement, expressed regret that energy policy targets of 5,000 megawatts by 2015 in relation to current energy production levels of 2,170 MW is unachievable within the two years limit unless there is increased investment as well as action by civil societies to demand transparency in energy governance at all level.