The Director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), Prof. Felix Ankomah Asante has stressed the need for the country to have a credible and reliable energy data to help find solutions to the nation’s energy challenges. Prof. Asante made this call when his outfit and the Ga East Municipal Assembly (GEMA) jointly launched two reports on the State of Energy in the Ga East Municipality (GEM) report under the Supporting Sub-Saharan Africa’s Municipalities with Sustainable Energy Transitions (SAMSET) project at a ceremony at Abokobi.
Supporting Sub-Saharan Africa’s Municipalities with Sustainable Energy Transitions (SAMSET) is a four-year (2013-2017) project funded by the EPSRC and DFID and jointly run by the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), University of Ghana; Uganda Martyrs University; University of Cape Town, Sheffield University, University College London, Sustainable Energy Africa (SEA) in South Africa and Gamos Ltd, UK.
The project which supports sustainable energy transitions drives of six municipalities in three African countries; namely, Ghana (Awutu Senya Municipal ASEM and GEM, Uganda (Kasese and Jinja) and South Africa (Cape Town and Polokwane) aims to improve the ‘‘Knowledge transfer framework’’ through research and capacity-building efforts within the partner municipalities in a bid to enhance their efforts towards sustainable energy transitions.
Two comprehensive reports, 2014 State of Energy Report for Ga East Municipality and Sustainable Energy Strategy for GEM were generated from the outcomes of extensive research work conducted by ISSER and the project partners.
The 2014 State of Energy Report for Ga East Municipality entails topics including Ghana’s energy picture, Overview of GEM supply and demand, Sectorial perspective of energy in GEM (HH, Commercial, Industry, Transport and Local Government sectors) and Energy efficiency programmes in GEM while the Sustainable Energy Strategy for GEM report explores Approach to developing the sustainable energy strategies, Sectorial sustainable energy strategies, Strategic Actions Plans and Budget and Energy Futures; The view to 2030 for GEM among others.
Launching the two reports at a brief ceremony at Abokobi, the Director of ISSER, Prof. Felix Ankomah Asante, stated that the prevailing energy challenges of the nation is a wakeup call on all stakeholders to explore and devise strategies to address the situation in the medium to long term.
He described energy as key to every nation’s socio-economic development agenda stressing the dependency on energy of the activities across all sectors in the national and local economies of the country.
“The effects of the shortfall in electricity supply nationwide in the not too distant past drummed home the importance of energy. Many have now realized the importance of energy to society in general and specifically, to the sustainability of their livelihoods.”
Prof. Asante was hopeful that the reports will help bridge the energy data gap of the municipality and catalyses the Assembly’s efforts at accelerating the process towards sustainable energy transitions in the municipality.
Dr. Simon Bawakyillenuo, SAMET Project Lead and Research Fellow at ISSER, underscored the significance of the reports to the Assembly and expressed hope that it will help in strategizing towards addressing the energy needs of the municipality.
“The documents (reports) are reference sources for the municipality’s sustainable energy efforts (supply and demand) in the context of the UN SE4ALLintiative and the post-2015 UN SDGs. In view of the energy futures, activating the sustainable energy strategies outlined in the strategy document will not only guarantee energy sayings, but also economic (monetary) savings”.
He was grateful to the Assembly for providing the requisite support and ensuring that the project was a success.
In a speech on behalf of the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Hon. John Kwao Sackey, the Acting Deputy Coordinating Director, Mr. Laud Binka, expressed the Assembly’s appreciation of the project team and partners, particularly, ISSER, for making Ga East Municipality one of the only two municipalities in Ghana to have been chosen to participate in this great project.
He assured the team that the Assembly will study the reports and discuss and integrate them into its planning processes, noting that “this project has come at an opportune time where the country is in dire need of alternative ideas and strategies to solve our energy difficulties”.
A member of the GEM SAMSET Team and an Assistant Planning Officer of GEMA, Mr. Alex Amoah told the gathering that they had learnt a lot which they will impart to ensure that the municipality shifts the paradigm of relying on old means of generating energy to new approaches and strategies particularly in the architectural field.
The Assembly has two representatives on the SAMSET project with the other being Mr. Noah Tali, the Municipal Budget Officer (MBO).
By: Okunyin Boaz Orlan-Hackman