Ishmael Ackah

Head of Policy Unit,

Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), Accra 

Abstract

Power is very vital for every economic activity. This is because, it enhances communication, facilitates transportation and helps to convert inputs to outputs. Despite these advantages, Ghana has been struggling to provide reliable and consistent power supply since the first power crises in 1983. Experts and policy makers have suggested that the current power crises is different from the ones experienced in 1983, 1998 and 2006. How is this one different? In answering this question, three classes of experts have emerged.

The ‘dum’ experts believe the situation is beyond man’s abilities and attribute the power crises solely to geographical factors (low level of water in Akosombo and Bui). They conclude that only God can ‘deliver us’. The ‘sor’ experts on the other hand believe that the situation is temporary and it can be addressed with little effort from government and individuals. Finally, the ‘dumsor’ experts are of the opinion that Ghana caused its own problems through lack of investments in the power sector and we will therefore require immediate, medium and long term solutions to address the power challenges.

This presentation is divided into three sections. First, it relies on secondary data to provide a historical overview of the power crises. Second, the presentation examines the impacts of the power crises on economic growth. Finally, it will review government responses to the crises, analyse views from the different classes of experts and provide policy recommendations.

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