Solar-Powered Mini-Grids Bring Security and New Economic Opportunities in Ghana

In Africa, 600 million people lack access
to electricity. Agatha was one of them. [Agatha Abotse, Seamstress, Aglakope, Ghana]
It was difficult operating my business when we didn’t have access to electricity. I couldn’t work at night in those days but
now I do. I now use an electric iron and don’t buy
charcoal any more. My business has improved greatly. With electricity, comes new opportunity for
Agatha and her community. Today, Ghana is providing electricity to more
than 83% of its population—the second highest in Sub-Saharan Africa. But connecting remote areas like Aglakope
to the national grid has proven to be nearly impossible. The solution? A solar powered mini-grid. An affordable, renewable alternative that
can connect the homes and businesses in remote areas to power. These rural towns on the volta river will
now enjoy uninterrupted power–bringing new life, security and economic opportunity. [Prince Nissawu, Teacher]
The light has indeed brought a very positive change to the members of the community and,
to be specific, my students. With the light they’ve been able to learn
in the evening which helped them to progress in their academic performance, especially
in the class.

[Nathan Bafloe, Opinion Leader and Government Appointee] Today, we move freely around at night without
fear due to the presence of street lights. Here in the village, we experience the same quality of life as those in the city. Actually, we’re better off because we don’t
experience frequent power outages as they do. The government of Ghana with support from
IDA, the World Bank’s fund for the poorest, constructed solar powered mini-grids in five
island communities on the Volta River to bring sustainable electricity to these remote areas. These solar powered mini-grids are supplying
reliable energy to 10,000 Ghanaians helping Ghana achieve its goal of energy for all. [Sottie Atsu, Assemblyman]
Before this project there were a lot of challenges in this community here. People outside come to this community and steal from us but because of this project they stop coming. We are getting pure water. We are watching TVs. [Naomi Dagrey, Cold Store Owner, Aglakope]
I used to experience a lot of financial difficulties when we didn’t have access to electricity. Once we got connected to electricity, I invested in a refrigerator, which I use to sell frozen beef and chicken.

I use the profit from my business to support my husband, to pay our children’s school fees and also to support myself. Scaled-up across the continent, solar powered mini-grids could be Africa’s solution to achieving universal access to electricity..

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