Minister Shapps and Ghana’s President, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, agreed to work together to power up the solar market in Ghana, giving millions of people in urban and remote areas access to clean, reliable, and affordable energy. A Partnership Agreement on Energy Africa will be formally signed later this month.
Launched in London last month with prominent Ghanaian and former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, the Energy Africa campaign will speed up access to household solar energy and lighting for people across Ghana and wider Africa.
While electricity access in Ghana is better than much of Sub-Saharan Africa, the country still suffers regular power cuts and outages that affect households and industry. Solar technology and mobile payment systems exist in Ghana, yet less than 1% of households use solar energy.
Speaking on arrival in Ghana, Grant Shapps said: “The time is right to kick-start a solar revolution in Ghana and across Africa. It is not acceptable that two out of out three people in Africa simply do not have access to electricity.”
“Without a reliable energy supply at home people simply cannot go about their daily lives. Children cannot do their homework after dark, men and women are unable to charge their mobile phones, and families are forced to inhale the toxic fumes of kerosene lamps.
Grant Shapps emphasised the difference solar energy could make to the peole of Ghana: ” Nightfall no longer needs to mean darkness. With British-backed technology, families can save money on fuel, feel safe at night, and run businesses from home. Ghana has the solar kits, mobile payment systems, and the year-round sunshine. And with the President’s backing, together we can change lives.”
There are high hopes for Energy Africa to impact other countries in the continent: “I look forward to working with the people of Ghana to spread solar energy right across the country, and hope the rest of Africa follows their lead in supporting the life-changing Energy Africa campaign.”