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China to rescue Ghana from energy crisis

China will build a 400-megawatt solar energy in the shortest possible time in Ghana to help solve the country’s current energy crisis that has almost brought economic activities to a stand-still. Ghana has been in energy crisis for the past two years but the current situation beginning this year is serious. Households and industries are deprived of electricity for more than 24 hours. The solar plant is estimated to cost some $1 billion and it is expected that work will start as soon as possible since it is one of the Chinese government’s African investment priorities.

The Chinese Embassy spokesman in Ghana, Zhou Youbin has confirmed the news saying that China's Hanergy Group has been given the responsibility to lead the project. He said Ghana has become one of the trading partners of China and the government in Beijing is taken all the necessary steps to strengthen this relationship. “China, as a traditional friend and an important development partner over the years, has spared no efforts in supporting the development and construction of Ghana. In 2014, statistics about China-Ghana cooperation was inspiring. Ghana's export to China and Chinese Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows to Ghana has both surpassed one billion dollars, making China the biggest investor of Ghana in the past year’’, he said. Mr. Youbin also added that the two countries need to continue their support to each other, stressing ``the most important thing is to balance the interests of the stakeholders, mainly the government, mining communities and the investor. Policies to ensure the healthy and sustainable development of the mining sector should be designed as soon as possible.’’

Over the last four years, the Chinese government has invested hugely in areas in Ghana such as roads, energy, water and communications. Majority of Ghana’s energy comes from hydro. But the Akosombo hydro dam which was built by Ghana’s first President, Kwame Nkrumah in 1964 has not been managed properly by successive Ghanaian governments, culminating in the current energy crisis in the country. In January this year, the Ghanaian government reached an agreement with the United States energy giants, General Electricals worth $1 billion for the supply of energy to the country. But that agreement is not meant to solve the short term energy crisis in the short term. Energy experts have criticized the government for failing to deal with the energy situation and many political commentators say the energy crisis would be a crucial determinant if Ghanaians will or not retain the government in next year’s general elections.

 

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