ACCRA, May 31 (Xinhua) -- The Government of Ghana will issue licenses to new Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) for only renewable energy, President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced here on Wednesday.
According to him, this is part of the decision to include renewable energy generation significantly in the country's energy.
"Our policy is to move Ghana from a reliance on thermal towards renewable energy. We have, thus, decided that new PPAs will only be signed for renewable energy," the president announced while opening the Third Development Finance Forum (DFF) organized here by the World Bank group.
Due to the importance of the energy sector in the economy, the president noted that the government sought to address the energy supply constraints by tackling the financial challenges of the sector, as well as defining a policy framework that would encourage private sector investment.
"We will very soon issue a 2.5 billion U.S. Dollars energy sector bond to retire the legacy debt of the energy sector and create space for increased investment in the sector," the president disclosed.
In addition to that, the government has also encouraged majority Ghanaian private sector participation in the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), the main distributor of power in Ghana, under the Millennium Challenge Compact with the U.S. government.
Energy constraints lasting over a two-year period contributed greatly to the dampening of economic growth prospects in the West African country which realized a 4.8 percent growth in the economy in 2011.
"Our focus in the real economy is to promote investment both in the industrial and agricultural sectors. In agriculture, we have instituted a program that we have dubbed 'Planting for food and jobs'. It provides farmers access to affordable inputs, extension services and improved irrigation infrastructure," Akufo-Addo added.
He told the participants drawn from the world bank, development partners and other African countries that Ghana was embarking on a private sector-led industrialization program through the government's touted "one district, one factory initiative" and a 100 million dollars stimulus package for the revival of distressed companies.
The theme of the third DFF is "Unlocking Private Investment in the African Markets".
As a matter of policy, Akufo-Addo said his government had also decided to seek more private sector equity financing for infrastructure projects rather than the historic resort to borrowing and more borrowing that had resulted in the ballooning of Ghana's debts.
Managing Director of the World Bank and the World Bank Group's Chief Financial Officer Joaquim Levy said the purpose of this year's DFF, which is to come out with creative and concrete ideas to unlock and spur private investment in the African market, would not happen without alignment of public and private interests.
"Once again, there is so much potential in Africa, yet this potential has not fully been realized yet because of some challenges some countries face in attracting investment, which is critical to achieve our Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and also the World Bank's twin goals of eliminating extreme poverty and sharing prosperity," Levy observed.
Ghana is the first country hosting the DFF after the first two were held in Rotterdam (2015) and Dublin (2016). Enditem