United States keen on supporting Ghana develop energy sector

The United States Ambassador to Ghana, Gene Cretz has reiterated his government’s unflinching commitment to support Ghana come out of the escalating energy crisis.

Ghana currently is bedeviled with severe power supply. The country is unable to provide constant power supply to the citizenry.

The worsening situation, has therefore, led to load shedding across the country, especially, the capital city of Accra.

But Ambassador Cretz was certain the second Millennium Challenge Compact with some $500 million for projects in the energy sector would help resolve the phenomenon.

Addressing a gathering that joined in America’s 238 th Independence Day reception at his residence in Accra Wednesday evening, Mr. Cretz said ‘We have been keen backers of helping Ghana develop its critical power sector. We hope to conclude negotiations soon for a second Millennium Challenge Compact worth $500 million for projects in the energy sector.’

America’s Continental Congress issued a Declaration of Independence from British rule on July 4, 1776.

With the erratic power supply affecting society, businesses and manufacturers; a group calling itself the Concerned Ghanaians for Responsible Governance (CGRG) Tuesday stage a demonstration dubbed ‘Occupy Flagstaff House’ demanding a better governance system and an improved economy.

The group among other things, complained bitterly about the constant increments in utility tariffs and unreliable supply of electricity.

Ambassador Cretz further mentioned the many supports the US government was offering to Ghana in the areas of health, peace and security, education and others.

In collaboration with the US Drug Enforcement Agency, he noted, Ghana arrested a three dozen high-level narcotics traffickers.

The team also dismantled half-dozen international criminal organizations while seizing about 500 kilos of cocaine and 30 kilos of heroin.

Education Minister Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, who led a government delegation to the Ambassador’s residence in Accra, commended the US government’s contribution to eliminating malaria and the upgrade of some hospital laboratories.

She expressed confidence that the 18 young Ghanaians selected to participate in the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) in the US would bring the skills acquired to support the country’s effort in achieving a better Ghana and impact the future course of the country and Africa at large in matters relating to the youth.

She confirmed Ghana was having serious energy challenges and hoped the yet-to-be approved $500 million compact would help the country to provide reliable energy for its citizens as well as becoming a net exporter of energy in the sub-region under the Power Africa Initiative (PAI).

The PAI is an initiative by US President Barack Obama to help bridge the gap between Africa’s power shortage and its economic potential.

It intends to double access to electricity across sub-Saharan Africa over the next decade. More than 20 million Africans are expected to benefit from an increased access to power by 2020.

As announced by President Obama on June 30, 2013 in South Africa, the initial set of partners includes Ghana, Tanzania, Liberia, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Kenya.

These six countries are expected to reach the goal of generating 10,000 megawatts of power by 2018 while increasing access to power for millions of Africans.

Prof. Opoku-Agyemang further indicated that the Ghana government would put the second compact funds to judicious use when approved.

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