The five-year Compact II, which is a grant agreement between the United States and Ghana would invest about 535 million dollars to transform the Ghanaian power sector, helping to create a financially and commercially viable power that would meet the country’s growing needs for power.
It would also focus on updating infrastructure, improving management and oversight, and increasing energy efficiency and eliminating the erratic supply of power that has brought businesses to their knees.
Owura Kwaku Sarfo, Chief Executive Officer of MiDA, at the opening acknowledged the need for private sector participation in achieving the objectives of the Compact II, because the project is expected to be run by Ghanaians.
He said the seminar, which is the first in the series, would help build bridges, enhance partnerships, build capacity and confidence of local businesses and tune the views of participants to the numerous opportunities in the power sector and create a shared platform for Small and Medium Scale participation.
He mentioned some key constraints, which impedes on private sector performance as credit acquisition, land, and inadequate and unreliable power supply which, suppresses sustainable economic growth and development.
Owura Sarfo said these issues would be resolved through information sharing and networking sessions at the various sessions of this and subsequent seminars scheduled by MiDA.
Mr Gene Cretz, United States Ambassador, said the second phase of the MCC project, demonstrates the growing cooperation between the two countries, and the impressive record under the first Compact, which has registered positive outcomes in various sectors with improved and diversified economic growth.
“We can expect even more as MCC continues its commitment to make positive changes under this second Compact” and also more to follow as Ghana takes the necessary steps to build private sector confidence for investments in energy and power , he said.
He said the present support through MCC and MiDA is one of the many ways that the US is partnering Ghana to improve access to electricity and development of the power sector.
Mr Cretz said the US Embassy in Accra manages a very active programme under President Obama’s Power Africa initiative which envisions the provision of reliable and sustainable energy needed, to lift people out of poverty.
He mentioned projects such as the CenPower generation, which is a 340 Megawatts Independent Power Project to be cited near Tema, and Ghana’s First Electricity from Domestic Gas, which are all avenues for investments for both American and Ghanaian businesses.
These projects would fuel economic development by increasing power capacity and reducing electricity costs.
Mr John Abdulai Jinapor, Deputy Minister of Power, thanked the United States for its constant assistance to the development of Ghana.
He said although tough decisions must be taken in order to solve the present energy crisis, he urged implementers of the project to lay much emphasis on the quality of the local content so as to ensure the skills development for sustainable project management and execution.