U.S. Funded Power Africa Program Expands Access to Clean and Affordable Energy for Ghanaians

The United States government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funded the Power Africa West Africa Energy Program (WAEP) and recently held a lessons-learned event in Accra, Ghana, reviewing the last five years of work.

The event brought together energy-sector players including government officials and private sector actors to reflect on the Program’s work over the past five years, and discuss achievements and lessons learned.

Since 2019, WAEP has expanded supply and access to clean, affordable, and reliable grid-connected electricity in 23 countries in West Africa.

In Ghana, WAEP partnered with the Ministry of Energy to develop a data-driven inventory management system (IMS).  The system supports the ministry and decision makers, to access accurate, real-time data on the availability and distribution of energy equipment such as wires, poles, meters, and transformers.  Through IMS, there have been more than 400,000 new electricity connections in Ghana.
 
WAEP assisted the Bui Power Authority (BPA) through the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s assistance to conduct and review grid impact and stability studies to operationalize the first 50-megawatt (MW) phase of its 250 MW solar-hydro hybrid project. 

This represents West Africa’s first hydro-solar hybrid project and has doubled Ghana’s grid-connected solar energy.  The project is expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 47,000 tons per year.
  
The Program also supported the Ghana Energy Commission to train and certify wiring professionals by offering short-term certificate scholarship programs to those working in rural, low-income regions in northern Ghana.  Forty-four wiring technicians, including 10 women, graduated from the program, representing an 80 percent increase in the number of certified women wiring technicians in Ghana. 

The increase in the number of wiring technicians has reduced the cost of wiring, discouraging residents from using illegal electricity connections and improving electricity safety.

Highlighting the achievements of WAEP in Ghana during the learning event, USAID/Ghana Deputy Mission Director, Grace Lang said: “I would also like to congratulate the Northern Electricity Development Company (NEDCo) and WAEP on their successful collaboration to improve revenue generation for the energy sector. 

This successful pilot project has enabled NEDCo to reduce collection losses by 57 percent in the Yendi district relative to their 2021 baseline.”

“The impact of these interventions is a testament to what we can achieve through collective effort and strategic partnerships.” she added.

Industry experts and program partners spoke about regional and global energy trends and collaborative efforts to expand supply and access to affordable and reliable power to people and countries across West Africa.

The United States is Ghana’s largest bilateral development partner.  In 2023 USAID’s bilateral development assistance, totaling over $140 million, was dedicated to supporting economic growth, agriculture, health, education, governance, and more.

About USAID

USAID is the lead U.S. government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential.  USAID’s activities and strategic partnerships support Ghana to advance an integrated approach to development, promoting accountability, sustainable systems, and inclusive development.

About Power Africa

A U.S. government-led partnership, Power Africa harnesses the collective resources of public and private sectors to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa.  Power Africa aims to add at least 30,000 megawatts (MW) of cleaner and more reliable electricity generation capacity and 60 million new home and business connections by 2030.

About WAEP

The USAID-funded Power Africa West Africa Energy Program (“WAEP” or “the Program”) advances its objective of expanding supply of and access to affordable and reliable electricity services in West Africa.  The Program has the ultimate goal of advancing development priorities, including inclusive economic growth, increased security, and improved health and education. WAEP’s four outcome goals include: increased power supply, increased access to electricity, a strengthened enabling environment, and a regionally connected power system.