GHANA has been invited by Sierra Leone and Guinea to help in their electric power generation and supply systems.
Both spend huge sums of money and energy in hauling oil for power generation in their countries and see Ghana as wielding a competitive edge in that area.
Major General Francis Adu-Amanfoh, Ghana’s Ambassador to Liberia, disclosed this at the closing ceremony of an Emergency Power Programme (EPP) in Liberia on Tuesday.
He said the invitation was a direct result of the exemplary efficiency of the Volta River Authority (VRA) in executing the EPP in Liberia.
The skills, efficiency and success of the VRA in executing the EPP were the toast at the ceremony, while President John Agyekum Kufuor’s commitment to executing the project and the opportunity offered by the Liberian President, Mrs Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, to Ghanaians to share their skills, were all highly commended by all the speakers at the function.
“The introduction of the VRA to the project and the timely and efficient manner of execution has won the recognition of the countries of the MANO River Union. The republics of Sierra Leone and Guinea have invited the VRA to be part of similar projects there,” Maj Gen Adu-Amanfoh said.
The Government of Ghana and the Government of Liberia on March 31, 2006 signed a memoranda of understanding (MOU) for an EPP in Liberia, under which the VRA, as the implementing agency, was to supply and install diesel generating sets and distribution networks.
The VRA was also to provide training and skills transfer to workers of the Liberian Electricity Corporation (LEC), as well as maintenance services for a period.
Funding for the project was from the Government of Liberia, the United States and the European Commission.
President Johnson-Sirleaf, in her inaugural speech on January 16, 2006, pledged to light up key areas in Monrovia in her first 150 days in office.
The areas were the Kru Town, Congo Town, Paynesville, as well as military, health and some educational facilities in the city.
The pledge of the President was made at a time when all the electrical systems and distribution lines had collapsed because of the 14 years of conflict during which some of these things were used as target practice by armed individuals, others wantonly destroyed and copper wiring in electrical cables stolen.
Mr Adu-Amanfoh recounted the daunting challenges at the onset of the project and how each partner rose to the task in their own peculiar way.
He said the slogan “small light today, big light tomorrow” of the staff of LEC was becoming a reality as the government of Liberia extended the programme to other parts of the country.
The Deputy Minister of Energy, Mr Kwame Amporfo-Twumasi, said the project had offered Ghana the opportunity to showcase itself and the skills of its people and was also evidence of the benefits of strong cooperation.
“As part of the Government of Ghana’s technical assistance to the Liberian EPP, 45 Ghanaians worked directly on the construction works here in Monrovia and about 200 others back home were responsible for the engineering design and planning, logistics, consolidation and packaging of the distribution materials used for the project,” he said.
Dr Amporfo-Twumasi emphasised Ghana’s readiness to assist Liberia as it prepared to rebuild its Mount Coffee Hydroelectric Station and other power installation facilities destroyed during the conflict.
The Liberian Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy, Dr Eugene Shannon, said the accomplishments under the EPP were evidence of the concretisation of Ghana-Liberian relations.
He stressed the need for joint partnerships and self-help efforts in Africa as“the relevant expertise can be found in Africa”.
The Vice President of Liberia, Mr Joseph Nyumah Boakai, who was the special guest of honour, commended Ghana for her efforts, especially when everything had to be built from scratch after the destruction of all social infrastructure in the conflict.
He described the VRA’s work in Liberia as “excellent not only in the installation but also in the training of the LEC staff”.
He said the initial collaboration in the power sector would open new doors of cooperation for both countries.
DAILY GRAPHIC, SATURDAY MARCH 15, 2008