[ 2012-05-05 ]
Bui Dam To Be Operational 2013
The Bui Dam expected to be operational in 2013 The
Chief Executive Officer of the Volta River
Authority, Mr Kweku Andoh Awotwi, has given an
assurance that the Bui Dam would become
operational in 2013.
According to him, the dam, together with some
initiatives already in the system, would add some
700 megawatts of electricity to the current
supply, beginning with 130 megawatts within the
next three months.
He attributed the difficulty in implementing
programmes aimed at increasing the country’s
electricity stock to the slow response from
successive governments to investment in the
Mr Awotwi, who made this known at the discussion
on the way forward for Ghana’s energy sector at
the Ghana Economic Forum, said it took about five
years to implement one programme that could shore
up electricity generation and supply.
He said as population increased, demand for
electricity supply also shot up but successive
governments had not been able to keep with the
investment needed to push production up.
The forum, organised by the Business and Financial
Times, assembled key industry captains,
senior-level decision makers in public and private
sector organisations in the country and
development partners to engage in discussions
centred on how Ghana could sustain the
macroeconomic gains made in recent times, and also
the strategy to sustain the growth.
This year’s theme was premised on the fact that
development of Ghana’s economy hinged on three
critical pillars: people, systems and technology.
Thematic areas covered at the forum included what
to do to unlock Ghana’s human capital in
education, skills development, job creation and
poverty reduction; rethinking the country’s
systems for improved productivity at all levels,
as well as utilising technology
to drive intermediary businesses in both public
and private sector organisations amongst others.
Contributing to the discussions, Dr Joe Abbey, the
Executive Director of the Centre for Policy
Analysis, put the challenge confronting energy
sector at the doorstep of the Public Utilities
He observed that even though the PURC knew that
the VRA needed to inject capital into its
operations, it had kept the lid tight on
increasing electricity tariff to the detriment of
sustained investment in the sector.
“We like price control even though we know that
prices we pay cannot even meet the cost of
production,” he added.
With agriculture also taking centre stage at the
forum, many participants including Dr Abbey were
of the view that the country needed to have a
second look at the land tenure system to make land
accessibility easy for investors.
Dr Abbey attributed the difficulty in acquiring
land banks, which could be put at the disposal of
investors, to the fact that successive governments
had lost the confidence of landowners over the
“When the government goes for land and the purpose
for which the land is acquired is no more
relevant, it does not return the land to the
owners. In some cases, compensation is not even
paid. How do you expect people to release their
lands if such things happen?” he asked.
The President of the Association of Ghana
Industries, Nana Owusu Afari, noted that a way to
deal with the problem of land for investors was to
work out modalities with the National House of
chiefs to deal with the issue.
But the Managing Director of the Ghana-Netherlands
Chamber of Commerce and Culture, Mr Nico C.M.
Staalduinen, had a contrary opinion.
He said it was time Ghana legislated to invest all
lands in the hands of the government instead
chiefs, explaining that for countries like Brazil
and the Netherlands that moved up the economic
ladder, land was readily available to the business
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Hannah
Tetteh, noted that the country’s land tenure
system was not helping investment in the country.
She cited Wilmar International Ltd., the world’s
biggest palm oil trader, which bought the Benso
Oil Palm Plantation but could not expand its
operation because of difficulties in acquiring
some 4,000 acres of land which belonged to
different traditional authorities and families.
Earlier in her keynote address, Ms Tetteh listed
high unemployment, rising levels of public debt,
high interest rates, high public sector wage bill
and volatile international commodity market and
their attendant effects on foreign exchange
earnings as some of the challenges facing the
She, however, gave an assurance that the
government was up to the task to handle the
challenges to create the needed environment for
the growth of the economy.
The Executive Director of the Business and
Financial Times, Mrs Edith Dankwa, in her welcome
address, observed that in spite of all the good
things to report about Ghana’s economy, there were
a number of critical challenges that held back
growth and slowed down the process of poverty
alleviation and development.
Source - Daily Graphic
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