ACCESS urges government to formulate good policies on energy access

Thursday 7th December, 2017
Energy Access
By Iddi Yire, GNA

Accra, Dec 7, GNA - The Alliance of Civil Society Organisations for Clean Energy Access (ACCESS), a Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), has urged the Government to lay out good policies that will enable remote and island communities to get access to energy.

According to the Coalition, energy services have been shown to have greatest poverty reduction impact when integrated with wider initiatives on food security, health, education and livelihoods

This approach will maximize delivery across the Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDGs).

Mrs Faustina Boakye, a member of the ACCESS Coordinating Group, made the appeal in Accra in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sideline of a two day West Africa Regional Energy Access Workshop.

The aim of the workshop was to bring together CSOs in the West Africa sub-region, to develop strategies and formulate action plans geared towards increasing energy access within the various member countries.

Mrs Boakye noted that the concentration of the work of CSOs in energy access was usually based in Eastern and Southern Africa and very little was being done in West Africa; hence mobilization of CSOs to advocate for energy for the poor was lacking in West Africa.

She said there were lots of CSOs within the sub region who were not working on energy, however, in Ghana there were a couple of organisations working on energy, but those really advocating for the poor were lacking as well.

Mrs Boakye told GNA that due to the above circumstances the Coalition was committed to building the capacities of these CSOs, adding that “there are lots of resources out there but who monitors and ensures it gets to the right people?”

Citing an example, she said Ghana had signed many conventions aimed at helping people to get energy with ease, but much could not be seen with regards to its implementation, as such, it was the duty of CSOs to monitor and advice government to ensure these resources got to the right people.

“We need policies that will enable energy to get to the roots, thus island communities, remote communities where electricity grid will not get there; policies that will create the atmosphere for people who are involved in this to get energy to the poor people," she said.

Ms Surabhi Rajagopal, the Coordinator for ACCESS, told GNA that the goal was to build the capacities of CSOs working on variety of developmental agenda energy, education, health care and agriculture.

She said the Coalition was acting as a facilitator for CSOs to get resources and have better capacity building to be able to meet and engage policy makers on the implementation of SDG7, which is access to affordable, clean and reliable energy.

She said there was a need for an advocacy for energy for rural populations and as well think about decentralizing models where energy was produced.

ACCESS membership includes Action Solidaire International, Anonema Ventures, Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, Oxfam, Tanzania Renewable Energy Association, The SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, Kenya Climate Change Working Group, and Ghana Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.