The Alliance for Social Innovations and Livelihood Improvement (ASOLI) participated in a stakeholder forum to discuss Ghana’s strategies for reducing carbon emissions and moving to clean energy sources. The meeting held in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region was organized by the Ministry of Energy under the auspices of the National Energy Transition Committee (NETC) recently launched by Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
To bring into focus Ghana’s new commitment to work towards a Net-Zero Future, organizers of the forum replayed a recent address by President Nana Akufo Addo at the COP26 where he emphasized the need for countries around the world that are still largely dependent on fossil fuels to begin to take steps to reduce their emissions. He however noted that Africa and less developed nations still need these fossil fuels to propel their development and called on developed nations to take major steps to reduce their emissions as this is the only way to reduce the imbalances among countries and ensure sustainable development. The address by Vice President Dr. Bawumia during the launch of the NETC in Accra last December was also aired to the stakeholders.
Addressing the forum, the Deputy Minister of Energy who is also Chairman of the National Energy Transition Committee Hon. Mohammed Amin Adam (MP), said the decision to hold the consultative meetings in all regions across the country was based on the committee’s Strong’s believe that the expert opinions of Civil Society Organizations and NGOs working in the Upper East Region and other parts of the country are relevant for the development of a National Energy Transition Plan (NETP). Other senior government officials including the Deputy Minister of Transport and MP for Gushegu Hon Hassan Tampuli, the Upper East Regional Minister Hon Stephen Yakubu also addressed the forum.
As a key stakeholder in sustainable development in Ghana and an organization whose areas of focus include the development of innovative environmentally friendly strategies, ASOLI found the forum to be a good opportunity for knowledge sharing and developing partnerships. The ASOLI was represented at the forum by its Head of Operations Mr. Alfred Avenona. About Twenty-four other Civil Society Organizations (CSO) and NGOs were present at the meeting.
Other important dignitaries who participated in the dialogue were the Upper East Regional House of Chiefs, various MMDCE’s and their Presiding Members, representatives from Academia, Forestry Commission, NEDCO, Ghana Gas, GNPC, EPA, and the Chief Director of the Upper East Regional Coordinating Council and media houses.
The stakeholders’ forum also included a panel discussion that looked at the following issues:
1. How will local innovators already in the industry be considered in the rollout of the plan when it
becomes a policy.
2. How prepared is Academia to train the needed manpower in clean energy (Wind, Solar, and Nuclear), do they have the staff capacity and accreditation to run programs within the region to meet the coming industrial demand. Does NEDCO staff have the required skills for the maintenance and installation of such equipment?
3. There were also discussions around the ecosystem destruction and loss of farmlands associated with the large-scale use of land that will be required for such installations of Wind and Solar turbines and panels respectively.
The NETC will come back to meet stakeholders if all the inputs are finalized in the plan from all regions of the country.