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Ghanian Success
by Robyn L
Africa / US Energy Ministerial Conference & Women in Energy

Durban, South Africa •• Dec. 12, 2000 •• SolarQuest® iNet News Service •• The 11 December, Day One of the US/Africa Ministerial saw a session exploring small scale, renewable energy projects. Unfortunately, by the time this topic came up, time was running short and only very brief discussions of subjects were practical. This resulted in lectures being difficult to report on, the speakers moving so fast!

The Ghana Initiative is an initiative funded by the Ghanian government and the US Department of Energy. Its goals are to provide renewable and sustainable energy for all its rural citizerns. The basic concept is to address the core issues that are apparent in rural areas such as:
- clean water
- lighting
- school and educational facilities
- health facilities

Thanks to some private sector investment, the installation and maintenance of electricity lines through Ghana has been achieved. Now over 60% of Ghana is electrified. The process that Ghana has conceptualized for sustaining off-grid electricity is local operation and maintainance, increasing the local capacity for manufacturing and installation and assuring fuel security. Community participation and the user's willingness to pay, coupled with investment into these projects will assure the ongoing success of this initiative.

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