PART ONE; ETYMOLOGY
The word Ghana means “Warrior King” and was the title accorded to the kings of the medieval West African Ghana Empire, although this empire was further north than the modern-day country of Ghana.The name “Ghana” was the source of the name “Guinea” (via French Guinoye) used to refer to the west Africa coast off the Republic of Ghana (as in Gulf of Guinea).
Ghana was adopted as the legal name for the Gold Coast combined with British Togoland upon declaration of independence and autonomy on 6 March 1957.
PART TWO: HISTORY
There is archaeological evidence showing that humans have lived in present-day Ghana since the Bronze Age. However, until the 11th century, the majority of modern Ghana’s area was largely unoccupied. Although the area of present-day Ghana has experienced many population movements, the native and major Akan ethnic group of South Ghana today were firmly settled by the 10th century. By the early 11th century, the Akans were firmly established in the South Ghana state called Bonoman, for which the Brong-Ahafo Region region is named. The Dagomba states of North Ghana were established in the late 16th century.
From the 13th century, numerous groups emerged from what is believed to have been the Bonoman area, to create several Akan States of South Ghana, mainly based on gold trading. These states included Bonoman (Brong-Ahafo region), Ashanti (Ashanti region), Denkyira (Central region), Mankessim Kingdom (Western region), and Akwamu (Eastern region and Greater Accra region). By the 19th century; the South Ghana territory was included in the Empire of Ashanti, one of the most influential states in sub-saharan Africa prior to the onset of colonialism. The Ashanti government operated first as a loose network, and eventually as a centralised kingdom with an advanced, highly specialised bureaucracy centred in Kumasi. It is said that at its peak; the King of the Empire of Ashanti Asantehene could field 500,000 troops, and it had strong degree of military influence over all of its neighbors.
HISTORY OF COLONIZATION
Early European contact by the Portuguese, who came to Ghana in the 15th century to trade, focused on the extensive availability of gold. The Portuguese first landed at a south coastal city, and named the place Elmina. In 1481, King John II of Portugal commissioned Diogod’Azambuja to build Elmina Castle.
By 1598, the Dutch had joined them in gold trading, building forts at Komeda and Kormantsi. In 1617, the Dutch captured the Olnini Castle from the Portuguese, and Axim in 1642 (Fort St Anthony). Other European traders had joined in gold trading by the mid-17th century, most notably the Danes, Swedes and English. English merchants, impressed with the gold resources in the area, named it the Gold Coast.
More than thirty forts and castles were built by the Portuguese, Swedish, Danish, Dutch, Spanish and English merchants. The Gold Coast was known for centuries as ‘The White Man’s Grave’, because many of the Europeans who went there died of malaria.
Many wars occurred between the British colonial powers and the various Akan nation-states, and their continuous struggle against the British and Europeans in many wars. The Ashanti Kingdom defeated the British a few times, but eventually lost with the War of the Golden Stool in the early 1900s. The Akans often resisted the policies of the British; however, moves toward independence did not intensify until after World War II.
In 1947, the newly formed United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) called for “self-government within the shortest possible time.” After rioting increased in 1948, the members of the UGCC were arrested, including future prime minister and president Kwame Nkrumah.
Nkrumah formed the Convention People’s Party (CPP) with the motto “self-government now”. Nkrumah began a “Positive Action” campaign and gained the support of rural and working-class people. He was again imprisoned for being the leader of a party that caused boycotts, strikes and other forms of civil disobedience. After winning a majority in the Legislative Assembly in 1952, Nkrumah was released and appointed leader of government business.
After the Dutch withdrew from the Gold Coast in 1874, following conquest by the English in 1896 until declaration of independence in March 1957, the territory of modern Ghana, excluding the Volta Region (British Togoland), was known as the Gold Coast.
Ghana is formed from the incorporated territorial entities of the Gold Coast, British Togoland and German Togoland in 1956, and in 1957, Ghana became the first to declare independence in sub-saharan Africa. On 6 March 1957 at 12 am Nkrumah declared Ghana “free forever”.
The flag of Ghana, consisting of the colors red, gold, green, and the black star, became the new flag in 1957. Designed by Theodosia Salome Okoh, the red represents the blood that was shed towards independence, the gold represents the mineral wealth of Ghana, the green symbolizes the rich agriculture, and the black star is the symbol of African emancipation.
Kwame Nkrumah, first Prime Minister, and then President of the modern Ghanaian state, as an anti-colonial leader, sought a united Africa that would not drift into neo-colonialism. He was the first African head of state to promote Pan-Africanism, an idea he came into contact with during his studies at Lincoln University, Pennsylvania in the United States, at the time when Marcus Garvey was becoming famous for his “Back to Africa Movement.” Nkrumah merged the teachings of Marcus Garvey and the naturalized Ghanaian scholar W. E. B. Du Bois into the formation of the modern-day Ghana. Ghana’s principles of freedom and justice, equity and free education for all, irrespective of ethnic background, religion or creed, borrow from Nkrumah’s implementation of Pan-Africanism.
Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, as he became known, played an instrumental part in the founding of the Organisation of African Unity, which was succeeded in 2002 by the African Union. His achievements were recognized by Ghanaians during his centenary birthday celebration, and the day was instituted as a public holiday. Dr. Nkrumah’s government was subsequently overthrown by a military coup while he was abroad with Zhou Enlai in the People’s Republic of China in February 1966. Former Central Intelligence Agency employee John Stockwell stated that the CIA had an effective hand in forcing the coup.
A series of subsequent civilian government overthrows from 1966 to 1981 ended with the ascension to power of Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings in 1981. These changes resulted in the suspension of the constitution in 1981, and the banning of political parties. The economy suffered a severe decline soon after, Kwame Darko negotiated a structural adjustment plan changing many old economic policies, and the economy began to recover.
A new constitution restoring multi-party politics was promulgated in 1992; Rawlings was elected as president then, and again in 1996. The constitution of 1992 prohibited him from running for a third term, so his party, the National Democratic Congress, chose his Vice-President, John Atta Mills, to run against the opposition parties. Winning the 2000 elections, John AgyekumKufuor of the New Patriotic Party was sworn into office as president in January 2001, and beat Mills again in 2004, thus also serving two terms as president and thus marking the first time that power had been transferred to one legitimately elected leader, and securing Ghana’s status as a stable democracy from 2001 to 2009.
In January 2009, John Atta Mills took office as President of Ghana with a difference of about 40,000 votes (0.46%), between his party, the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party.
In 2011, John Atta Mills won the NDC congress when he ran against Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings for the National Democratic Congress flagbearer ship. He won by 2,771 votes, representing 96.9% of the total votes cast. On 24 July 2012, John Atta Mills died unexpectedly, and Mills’ vice-president John Dramani Mahama, was sworn in as Mills’ replacement. The Electoral Commission of Ghana announced that Mahama won the Ghana presidential election, 2012 on 7 December 2012 amidst announcement of electoral fraud and he was still sworn in again on 7 January 2013 with John Dramani Mahama serving a term of office that ends approximately on Saturday 7 January 2017.
PART THREE: GEOGRAPHY OF GHANA
Ghana is located on the Gulf of Guinea, only a few degrees north of the Equator, therefore giving it a warm climate. Ghana spans an area of 238,535 km2 (92,099 sq mi), and has an Atlantic coastline that strecthes 560 kilometres (348 mi) on the Gulf of Guinea in Atlantic Ocean to its south. Ghana lies between latitudes 4° and 12°N, and longitudes 4°W and 2°E; and the Prime Meridian passes through Ghana, specifically through the industrial port town of Tema. Ghana is geographically closer to the “centre” of the world than any other country in the world; even though the notional centre, (0°, 0°) is located in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 614 km (382 mi) off the south-east coast of Ghana on the Gulf of Guinea. Grasslands mixed with south coastal shrublands and forests dominate south Ghana, with forest extending northward from the south-west coast of Ghana on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean 320 kilometers (200 mi) and eastward for a maximum of about 270 kilometers (170 mi) with south Ghana being a primary location for mining of industrial minerals and timber.
Ghana encompasses plains, low hills, rivers, Lake Volta, the world’s largest artificial lake, Dodi Island and Bobowasi Island on the south Atlantic Ocean coast of Ghana. Ghana can be divided into four different geographical ecoregions; the coastline is mostly a low, sandy shore backed by plains and scrub and intersected by several rivers and streams while the northern part of Ghana features high plains. South-west and south-central Ghana is made up of a forested plateau region consisting of the Ashanti uplands and the Kwahu Plateau; the hilly Akwapim-Togo ranges are found along Ghana’s eastern international border.
The Volta Basin takes up most of south-central Ghana and Ghana’s highest point is Mount Afadjato which is 885 m (2,904 ft) and is found in the Akwapim-Togo ranges. The climate is tropical and the eastern coastal belt is warm and comparatively dry, the south-west corner of Ghana is hot and humid, and the north of Ghana is hot and dry. Lake Volta, the world’s largest artificial lake, extends through large portions of south-eastern Ghana and many tributary rivers such as the Oti and Afram rivers flow into it. The northernmost part of Ghana is Pulmakong and the southernmost part of Ghana is Cape three points near Axim. Ghana lies between latitudes 4° and 12°N.
South Ghana contains evergreen and semi-deciduous forests consisting of trees such as mahogany, odum, ebony and it also contains much of Ghana’s oil palms and mangroves with shea trees, baobabs and acacias found in the northern part of Ghana.
The climate of Ghana is tropical and there are two main seasons in Ghana: the wet and the dry seasons. North Ghana experiences its rainy season from March to November while South Ghana experiences its rainy season from April to mid-November. The tropical climate of Ghana is relatively mild for its latitude. The harmattan, a dry desert wind, blows in north-east Ghana from December to March, lowering the humidity and causing hot days and cool nights in northern part of Ghana. Average temperatures range from 21°C to 28°C (70 to 82°F) with a relative humidity between 77 percent and 85 percent. In the northern part of Ghana, there are two rainy seasons: April through June and September through November. Squalls occur in the northern part of Ghana during March and April, followed by occasional rain until August and September, when the rainfall reaches its peak. Rainfall ranges from 78 to 216 centimeters (31 to 85 inches) a year.
PART FOUR: POLITICAL SYSTEM IN GHANA
Ghana is a unitary presidential constitutional commonwealth republic with a parliamentary multi-party system. Following alternating military and civilian governments in January 1993, the Ghana military government gave way to the Fourth Republic of Ghana after presidential and parliamentary elections in late 1992. The 1992 constitution divides powers among a president, parliament, cabinet, council of state, and an independent judiciary. The government is elected by universal suffrage.
The 2012 Failed States Index indicated that Ghana is ranked the 67th least failed state in the world and the 5th least failed state in Africa after Mauritius, 2nd Seychelles, 3rd Botswana, and 4th South Africa. Ghana ranked 112th out of 177 countries on the index. Ghana ranked as the 64th least corrupt and politically corrupt country in the world out of all 174 countries ranked and Ghana ranked as the 5th least corrupt and politically corrupt country in Africa out of 53 countries in the 2012 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, although political corruption in Ghana has been on the rise. Ghana was ranked 7th in Africa out of 53 countries in the 2012 Ibrahim Index of African Governance. The Ibrahim Index is a comprehensive measure of African government, based on a number of different variables which reflect the success with which governments deliver essential political goods to its citizens.
In 1957, the Ghana Army consisted of its headquarters, support services, three battalions of infantry and a reconnaissance squadron with armoured cars. Total strength was approximately 5,700 men. Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah wished to rapidly expand and Africanise the army to support his Pan-African, anti-colonial and the United States of Africa ambitions. Thus in 1961, 4th and 5th Battalions were established, and in 1964 6th Battalion was established, from a parachute unit originally raised in 1963.
Today, Ghana is a regional power and regional hegemony and the Ghana Army are in military alliance with the People’s Republic of China’s People’s Liberation Army. Ghana has in the past contributed forces to numerous UN and African Union (AU) operations, including in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lebanon, and Liberia (ECOMOG and UNMIL).
Ghana also contributed UN peacekeepers in UNAMIR during the Rwandan Genocide. In his book Shake Hands with the Devil, Canadian Forces commander RoméoDallaire gave the Ghanaian soldiers high credit for their work and effort in the conflict.
PART FIVE: ECONOMY OF GHANA
Ghana is a Middle Income Economy and is ranked as a Lower–Middle Income Economy by the World Bank and is an Emerging Economy.The Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) is the third largest stock exchange in Africa after the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The Ghana economy is resource rich and diverse with the exports of industrial minerals, cocoa, petroleum and natural gas, and industries such as electricity generation, information and communications technology, retailling and tourism being sources of foreign exchange. The Akosombo Dam, which was built on the Volta River in 1965, Bui Dam, Kpong Dam with several other hydroelectric dams and renewable energy sources provides hydro-electricity and sustainable energy for Ghana.
STATUS OF GHANA’S ECONOMY
The Ghana economy is the 9th largest economy on the African continent with more than twice the per capita output of all the countries in West Africa excluding Nigeria, and Ghana has the 85th largest economy in the world by Nominal GDP. Known for its gold, South Ghana was the world’s 7th largest producer of gold in 2012; producing 102 metric tons of gold and the 10th largest producer of gold in the world in 2012; producing 89 metric tons of gold. South Ghana is also the 2nd largest producer of cocoa in the world, and other exports such as crude oil, natural gas, timber, electricity, diamond, bauxite, and manganese are major sources of foreign exchange, but despite possessing a great abundance of industrial minerals and natural resources, Ghana is yet to reach newly industrialised country status after 56 years of independence.
Tourism is a rapidly growing sector with tourist arrivals at 950,000 and earnings of US$ 1.8 billion from tourism in 2010. Ghana’s tourist arrivals rose to 1,087,000 million in 2011 and earnings of US$ 2 billion from tourism in 2011, contributing to 6% of the Ghana GDP in 2011. UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Castles and Forts including Cape Coast Castle and Elmina Castle, natural landscapes and national parks such as Kakum National Park and Mole National Park, as well as public squares such as Independence square and cultural celebrations such as Panafest are major centres of tourist activity.
TAXATION SYSTEM IN GHANA
The value added tax is a consumption tax administered in Ghana. The tax regime which started in 1998 had a single rate but since September 2007 entered into a multiple rate regime. In 1998, the rate of tax was 10% and amended in 2000 to 12.5%. However with the passage of Act 734 of 2007, a 3% VAT Flat Rate Scheme (VFRS) began to operate for the retail distribution sector. This allows retailers of taxable goods under Act 546 to charge a marginal 3% on their sales and account on same to the VAT Service. It is aimed at simplifying the tax system and increasing compliance.
CURRENCY FLUCTUATIONS IN GHANA
Ineffective economic policies of past military and incumbent government have led to continued inflationary deficit financing, depreciation of the cedi, and rising public discontent with Ghana’s austerity measures. In July 2007, the Bank of Ghana embarked on a currency re-denomination exercise, from the cedi to a new currency, the Ghana Cedi (GH₵). The transfer rate was 1 Ghana Cedi for every 10,000 cedis. The new Ghana Cedi in 2009 was relatively stable and generally exchanged at a rate of US$1 = GH₵1.4.
LABOR FORCE IN GHANA
Ghana’s labour force in 2008 totalled 11.5 million people. The domestic economy revolves around services, which in 2012 accounted for 50% of GDP and employed 28% of the work force in 2011 and Manufacturing accounted for 27.3% of GDP and provided employment for 20% of the work force in 2011. Agriculture accounted for 22.7% of GDP and provided employment for 52% of the work force in 2011. The Government of Ghana unemployment figure is at 3% in 2012.
The Ghana economy is projected to reach US$114.564 billion purchasing power parity and US$4,155 GDP per capita in 2016.
PART SIX: OIL AND GAS IN GHANA
OIL AND GAS RESERVES
Commercial quantities of offshore oil reserves in South Ghana were discovered in the 1970s. In 1983 the government established the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to promote exploration and production, and the company reached agreements with a number of foreign firms. These permitted Amoco to prospect in ten offshore blocks between Ada along the eastern international border of Ghana. Petro-Canada International had prospected in the Tano River Basin, and Diamond Shamrock in the Keta Basin. In 1989, US$30 million was spent drilling wells in the Tano basin, and on 21 June 1992, an offshore Tano basin well produced about 6,900 barrels (1,100 m3) of crude oil daily. In the early 1990s, GNPC reviewed all earlier crude oil and natural gas discoveries to determine whether a predominantly local operation might make exploitation more commercially viable. GNPC wanted to set up a floating system for production, storage, off-loading, processing, and gas-turbine electricity generation, hoping to produce 22 billion cubic feet (620,000,000 m3) per day, from which 135 megawatts of power could be generated and fed into the national and regional grid. GNPC also signed a contract in 1992 with Angola’s state oil company, SonangolGroup, that provides for drilling and, ultimately, production at two of Sonangol’s offshore oilfields. GNPC was paid with a share of the crude oil.
The Tema Oil Refinery in South Ghana underwent the first phase of a major rehabilitation in 1989. The second phase began in April 1990 at an estimated cost of US$36 million. Once rehabilitation was completed, distribution of liquified petroleum gas was to be improved, and the quantity supplied was to rise from 28,000 to 34,000 barrels per day. Construction on the new Tema-Akosombo oil products pipeline, designed to improve the distribution system further, began in January 1992. The pipeline was to carry refined products from Tema to Akosombo Port, where they will be transported across Lake Volta to northern regions. Distribution continued to be uneven, however. Other measures to improve the situation included a US$28 million project to set up a national network of storage depots in all regions. The Tema Lube Oil Company commissioned its new oil blending plant, designed to produce 25,000 tons of oil per year, in 1992. The plant was to satisfy both North Ghana and South Ghana’s requirements for motor and gear lubricants and 60% of the country’s need for industrial lubricants, or, in all, 90% of Ghana’s demand for lubricant products. Shareholders included Mobil, Shell, and BP (together accounting for 48% of equity), Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, and the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).
South Ghana’s Jubilee Oilfield which is reported to contain up to 3 billion barrels (480,000,000 m3) of sweet crude oil was discovered in 2007, among the many other oilfields in South Ghana. Oil and gas exploration in South Ghana is ongoing, and the amount of both crude oil and natural gas continues to increase. The expected annual US$4 billion tremendous inflow of capital from crude oil and natural gas production into the Ghana economy began from the first quarter of 2011 when the country started producing crude oil and natural gas in commercial quantities with Ghana annually receiving US$500 million. The crude oil accounted for 6% of the revenue for 2011. In the first and second financial quarters of 2013, South Ghana produced 115,000-200,000 barrels of crude oil per day and 140 million-200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. The National Iranian Oil Company, Iranian Offshore Oil Company, Singapore Petroleum Company, Vetro Energy and PetroSeraya of Singapore have declared interests in investing and developing South Ghana’s oil and gas infrastructure and industry as South Ghana aims to further increase output of oil to 2 million barrels per day and gas to 1.2 billion cubic feet per day.
South Ghana is believed to have up to 5 billion barrels (790,000,000 m3) of oil in reserves,which is the sixth largest in Africa and the 25th largest proven reserves in the world and South Ghana has up to 4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in reserves.
PART SEVEN ELECTRICAL ENERGY IN GHANA
The first Ghana government-sponsored public electricity supply in Ghana commenced in the year 1914 at Sekondi-Takoradi, operated by the Ghana Railway Administration (Ghana Railway Corporation). Power supply was extended to Sekondi-Takoradi in 1928. The Ghana Public Works Department had commenced a limited direct current (DC) supply in Accra during the year 1922. A large alternating current (AC) project started on 1 November 1924, and a small plant consisting of three horizontal single cylinder oil-powered engines was installed in Koforidua in 1925.
In 1926, work started on electrical distribution to Kumasi. A restricted evening supply commenced in May 1927, and a power station was brought into full operation on 1 October 1927. In the same year DC supply was installed at Winneba but this was subsequently changed to AC by extending an existing supply from Swedru and during the period 1929-30, a limited electricity supply was extended to Tamale until a new AC plant was installed in 1938. The next power station to be established was Cape Coast in 1932 which was subsequently taken over by the Ghana Electricity Department in 1947. A Ghanaian power station at Swedru was commissioned in 1948 and this was followed by the installation of generating plants at Oda, Dunkwa-on-Offin and Bolgatanga in 1948. On 27 May 1949, an electricity supply was made available at Nsawam through the building of an 11000 volt overhead transmission line from Accra. The Keta electricity supply which was included in the programme was delayed by staff difficulties and was not commissioned until 1955.
The Tema power station was commissioned in 1956 with a 3 x 650 kW diesel generating set. The Ho power station followed in 1957 and from 1961-64. The Tema power station was extended to a maximum capacity of 35,298 kW, thus, making it probably the biggest single diesel-powered generating station in Africa.
In 1963 the Ghana Electricity Division brought into operation the first 161,000 volts transmission system in Ghana, which was used to carry power from the Tema Power Station. At its peak in 1965, about 75 percent of the power was used in Accra.
In 1994, Ghana’s total generating capacity was about 1,187 megawatts, and annual production totaled approximately 4,490 million kilowatts and the main source of supply is the Volta River Authority with six 127-megawatt turbines. The Volta River Authority’s power plant at Akosombo Dam provided the bulk of all electricity consumed in Ghana, some 60 percent of which is purchased by Volta Aluminum Company (Valco)for its smelter.
The balance of Ghana’s electricity was produced by diesel units owned by the Electricity Corporation of Ghana, by mining companies, and by a 160-megawatt hydroelectric plant at Kpong, about 40 kilometers downstream from Akosombo. A third dam at Bui on the Black Volta River had been under study for some time, with the aim of increasing power supplies in northern Ghana and for export; the project is as of 2013 in the late stages of construction.
Other sites with the potential for power generation, on the Pra River (Ghana), the Tano River, the White Volta River, and the Ankobra River, would also require substantial investment.
Ghana has attempted to increase distribution of its electricity throughout the country. One program, Ghana has initiated, will provide reliable and widespread electricity in the urban and southern parts of the country.In addition, the extension of the national grid to the Northern Region was commissioned in 1989. The extension links northern Ghana to the power generated from the Akosombo Dam.
The second phase of the extension will connect major towns in Upper East Region with the regional capital, Bolgatanga, at a cost of US$100 million. The final phase will see exports of electricity across the northern national border of Ghana to Burkina-Faso. In early 1991, furthermore, the Electricity Corporation of Ghana began the expansion of electricity networks in the northwestern areas of Accra and the Ghanaian corporation aimed to extend the supply of electricity to all isolated centers in Ghana where diesel is the main source of power. Plans were also afoot to increase the supply of electricity by utilization of thermal energy and construction was anticipated by late 1994 on the country’s first thermal power generating plant near Sekondi-Takoradi and scheduled for completion in 1997, the plant contributed 300 megawatts of electricity to the Ghana national grid.
The biggest photovoltaic (PV) and largest solar energy plant in Africa, the Nzema project, based in Ghana, will be able to provide electricity to more than 100,000 homes. The 155 megawatt plant will increase Ghana’s electricity generating capacity by 6%.Construction work on the GH¢ 740 million (GB£ 248 million) and the 4th largest solar power plant in the world, is being developed by Blue Energy, a UK-based renewable energy investment company, majority owned and funded by members of the, Stadium Group, a large European private asset and development company with GB£ 2.5 billion under management. Project director is Douglas Coleman, from Mere Power Nzema Ltd, Ghana.
Unlike many other solar projects in Africa that use concentrated solar power, solar plants will use photovoltaic (PV) technology to convert sunlight directly into electricity. Installation of more than 630,000 solar PV modules will begin by the end of 2013 with electricity being generated early in 2014. It is due to reach full capacity at the end of 2015.
RENEWABLE ENERGY IN GHANA
In addition to hydropower and solar energy, other renewable energy sources in Ghana are wind power, geothermal and biomass. It is the official goal of Ghana energy industry to have 10% of Ghana’s energy mix come from renewable sources (not counting large-scale hydropower) by 2015, or at the very least by 2020.
Ghana has Class 4-6 wind resources and locations of the high wind areas – such as Nkwanta, the Accra Plains, and Kwahu and Gambaga mountains. The maximum energy that could be tapped from Ghana’s available wind resource for electricity is estimated to be about 500 – 600 GWh/year. To give perspective – In 2011, per same Energy Commission, the largest Akosombo hydroelectric dam in Ghana alone produced 6,495 GWhrs of electric power and, counting all Ghana’s geothermal energy production in addition, total energy generated was 11,200 GWhrs in the same year. These assessments do not take into consideration further limiting factors such as land-use restrictions, the existing grid (or how far the wind resource may be from the grid) and accessibility. To conclude, wind energy has potential to contribute significantly to the country’s energy industry – 10% can certainly be attained in terms of installed capacity, and about 5% of total electric generation potential from wind alone.
GHANA AND BIO-RENEWABLES
Ghana has put in place mechanisms to attract investments into its biomass and bio-energy sectors to stimulate rural development, create jobs and save foreign exchange.
The vast arable and degraded land mass of Ghana has the potential for the cultivation of crops and plants that could be converted into a wide range of solid and liquid bio-fuels, as the development of alternative transportation fuels could help Ghana to diversify and secure its future energy supplies. The goal of Ghana regarding bio-energy, as articulated its energy sector policy, is to modernize and examine the benefits of bio-energy on a sustainable basis. Biomass is Ghana’s dominant energy resource in terms of endowment and consumption, with the two primary bio-fuels consumed being ethanol and biodiesel. To that effect, the Ghana ministry of Energy in 2010 developed the energy sector strategy and development plan.
Highlights of the key policy objectives strategy for the renewable energy subsector include sustaining the supply and efficient use of wood-fuels while ensuring that their utilization does not lead to deforestation. The plan would support private sector investments in the cultivation of bio-fuel feedstock, extraction of bio-oil and its refining into secondary products, thereby creating appropriate financial and tax incentives. The Ghana Renewal Energy Act provides the necessary fiscal incentives for renewable energy development by the private sector, and also details the control and management of bio-fuel and wood- fuel projects in Ghana. The Ghana National Petroleum Authority (NPA) was tasked by the Renewable Energy Act 2011 to price Ghana’s bio-fuel blend in accordance with the prescribed petroleum pricing formula.