In June 2014, during the FIFA World Cup where Ghana was represented, the West African nation bought 50 megawatts of electricity from its neighbor, Ivory Coast, so that people at home could watch their national team play. The football-loving nation, again in February 2015, rushed back to Ivory Coast for 80 megawatts of power to enable Ghanaians to watch African Cup of Nation semi-final match. In April, the country bought another 80 megawatts for Easter. This is how things have been in Ghana since 2012 but the Ghanaian government says the storm is over.
Henceforth, Ghanaians will enjoy constant electricity supply as the President John Mahama-led government said it has fixed the deficit (of around 500 megawatts) responsible for years of blackout.
“The Ministry of Power wishes to inform the public that its Load Shedding programme in respect of electricity supply has been brought to an end,” a government statement said.
The power cuts, known as “dumsor” in Ghana, which can last for 24 hours at a time, have become a hot political topic and threatens President John Mahama’s chances of re-election next year. He, therefore, vowed to end the power cuts by Dec. 31. Power Minister Kwabena Donkor also said he would resign if the deadline was not met.
The government has paid to add power generation capacity this year, as it strove to end the crisis caused by increased consumer and business demand for power at a time of insufficient water for hydro electric plants and sparse gas for turbines.
In November, a power-generating ship contracted from independent Turkish producer Karpowership, arrived Ghana. It is to generate 235 megawatts of electricity daily to help offset supply deficit in the country. Donkor, at the time, called the ship’s arrival ‘just one element’ in the government’s solution, but a very useful one which signaled an end in sight for power cuts.
Ghana recorded strong economic growth for years, riding on the back of gold, cocoa and oil exports. However, lower global commodity prices had in recent years slowed growth. The government has now committed to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme aimed at raising revenue to solve a fiscal crisis as it also cuts spending. The global lender predicts Ghana’s economy to grow at more than 4 percent in 2016.