A-three day annual workshop on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Energy Information System (EIS) opened in Accra yesterday with a call on member states to take full ownership of the benefit of the development of the region.
The workshop, attended by representatives of member states, aimed at consolidating the approach that would enable the foundations to be laid for cooperation between the ECOWAS Commission and Member States with a view to render the ECOWAS-EIS more operational.
It also aimed at training experts in the completion of the common data and questionnaire, and how to use the ECOWAS EIS platform.
Opening the programme, the Commissioner for Energy and Mines at the ECOWAS Commission, Sediko Douka, said energy system in the individual countries and at the regional levels lacked reliability and timely data.
This, he noted, hindered good governance of the sector, and to overcome this deficit, it was important to create a regional energy database and an energy information system in West Africa.
Mr Douka said once such a system was operational, it would enable the provision of updated data and information by countries and consolidated at the regional level.
He explained that this would cover all characteristics including consumption, production, supply, energy sources and flow, and also control the energy situation in West Africa.
The Commissioner explained that such data was essential to know the current situation of the sector and eventually allow for a good formulation of the regional energy policy, as well as the long-term planning of the energy sector.
In a speech read on behalf of the Minister of Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, by the Chief Director at the Ministry of Energy, Mr Lawrence Apaalse, he said the main objective of the workshop was in line with Ghana’s agenda of developing its energy experts.
He said the recent developments on the global stage, especially with regards to energy transition, required that Africa came out with a united voice on aspects of the transition programme that threatened the very survival of their developing economies which, historically, had been poor energy contributed far less to global carbon emissions as compared to the developed nations.
In this regard, he said the ECOWAS EIS, as a one-stop-shop for energy statistics for the sub-region, could not have been more relevant than now as the global cry for energy transition called for collaborative efforts in building synergies and sharing information.
Pointing to Ghana’s energy situation and the contours of its energy policy to meet the ever-growing demand to participants, Dr Opoku Prempeh said as of 2020, Ghana’s per capita consumption of electricity was about 485kWh, representing about 45 per cent increment over the 2010 policy document figures.
He said within the same period, national electricity access rate increased from 75 percent to 86.63 per cent, stressing that “Currently, Ghana’s total installed capacity is 5,288MW, mainly gas-fired, with a peak demand of about 3,090MW.”
The Minister said although the demand for gas for power generation had grown significantly over the years, Ghana was further pursuing efforts to escalate gas utilisation, especially in the non-power industrial sectors such as steel, cement, aluminium, industrial heating.
BY CLIFF EKUFUL