NewsWest AfricaGhana: Minister to resign if load shedding goes beyond 31 December


Posted on Thursday, 11 June 2015 10:21

Ghana: Minister to resign if load shedding goes beyond 31 December

Photo©ReutersGhana will add 1,000 megawatts to its power capacity by the end of 2015 and end a series of rolling blackouts, Minister for Power Kwabena Donkor said on Wednesday, repeating a promise to resign if the problem is not resolved by 31 December.


Power generation has become a serious political and economic issue in the West African nation due to cuts that frequently last 24 hours, raising the cost of doing business, hampering the economy and angering voters.

I have put my head on the block

"We are bringing in different solutions. We already have in the country some plants under construction. We are fast-tracking the completion of those plants," he said at a conference in Dubai.

Other power plants are being expanded and the government will also introduce new forms of electricity generation using power barges and gas, he said, adding that the government would increase Ghana's grid capacity from 2,850 megawatts now.

"By the end of December load shedding will have ended. I am crazy enough to have said I will resign from my position if load shedding goes beyond 31 December, 2015 ... I have put my head on the block," he said.

The power cuts are a sign of wider problems facing Ghana, which entered an aid agreement with the International Monetary Fund in April to stabilise an economy grappling with inflation at 16.9 percent, a high debt-to-GDP ratio and sliding currency.

President John Mahama faces reelection in 2016 when he will likely face opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo.

If left unresolved, power generation could become a key issue. Mahama is yet to confirm he will run for what would be a second term.

Ghana generates much of its power from three hydro-electric dams.

It also imports natural gas from Nigeria via the West African Pipeline Company.

Some energy analysts say they doubt Ghana can end its blackouts this year, not least because of problems in the Electric Company of Ghana (ECG) and other state providers.

Donkor said the government would restructure rather than privatise ECG.

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