Ghanaian Delegation visits China to Strengthen Cooperation on China-Ghana Renewable Energy Technology TransferApr 14, 2017
A Ghanaian delegation recently visited UNDP in Beijing from 7th to 14th April 2017, to engage in discussions on The China-Ghana Renewable Energy Technology Transfer (RETT) South-South Cooperation (SSC) Project.
In recent years, Ghana has performed well in terms of increasing the share of electricity generation going to households from less than 40% in 2000 to 60% in 2010, and currently more than 70% of households nationwide have access to electricity.
However, this national average masks a striking urban-rural disparity with only 40% of rural households having access to electricity, with significant impact on productive activities and local economic development. In addition, 70% of the population in urban areas and 90% in rural areas depend on wood fuel for meeting their domestic energy requirements which has adverse impacts on health, particularly for women and children, and the environment.
Led by Dr. Alfred Kwabena Ofosu Ahenkorah, Head of Energy Commission of the Government of Ghana, the nine-day visit to China comprised a range of field visits and meetings with stakeholders in various parts of China.
Priorities included fostering greater mutual understanding on demand and supply of renewables, and greater alignment of technology transfer with Ghana’s national development priorities under SSC. This can help to support broader socio-economic and environmental objectives, stimulating poverty reduction through employment generation as well as promoting action on climate change mitigation.
The visit began with a courtesy meeting in Beijing attended by representatives from the Embassy of Ghana to China, the project implementation partner in China, as well as representatives from UNDP China. Consultations were held with Chinese experts from Tsing Hua University, China Agriculture University, Asian Development Bank and China Clean Energy Association.
The delegation also visited a biogas-processing farm operated by China Agricultural Mechanization Institute in Hebei Province, as well as the International Centre for Small Hydropower (ICSHP) in Hangzhou. These were both part of a field study to identify possible areas where cooperation could be strengthened and understanding fostered on demand and supply of renewables.
The effectiveness of technology transfer lies in alignment with national development priorities and greater understanding of recipient country demand. China has concrete experience and technical knowledge in the renewable energy sector, whilst they need to build project management capabilities and approach to south-south cooperation.
With financing from the Danish Government, UNDP is leading an innovative initiative with the Governments of China and Ghana that brings China’s experiences in creating the right forms of pricing mechanisms, subsidies and taxation policies on renewable energy in order to facilitate private sector investment in off-grid solutions.
Along with the promising collaboration with ICSHP, another MoU was signed with Sichuan CDM Centre during the trip. Setting a starting point for a strategic partnership, MoUs have also outlined cooperation between China and Ghana, where a broader range of stakeholders are involved and are actively contributing to the practice of South-South cooperation.
Equal participation in partnership with increased ownership is deemed as the key factor to build capacity to achieve sustainable development goals, and to bring in a broader range of benefits to partner countries. These meetings allowed all partners to communicate their concerns and recommendations in a more effective and inclusive way, to help streamline sustainability into South-South Cooperation projects and bring real long-term development benefits to Ghana.