Ghana’s power minister resigns amid electricity crisis

Ghana’s Power Minister Kwabena Donkor resigns after failing to deal with power crisis as promised

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The power crisis continues unabated in Ghana, despite promises from the Power Ministry to end outages by Dec. 31.

Ghana's Minister for Power Kwabena Donkor resigned on Saturday, as his ministry, which was created in 2014 specifically to put an end to power outages and load shedding, proved unable to cope with the crisis.

Load shedding is the reduction of available electricity by the utilities as demand for power becomes too high. Donkor had announced on Dec. 31 that load shedding would cease, but his statement was followed on the same day by a denial from the power supplier Ghana Grid Company that it could not end load shedding, but that "significant gains had been made."

Ahead of the ministry announcement, the Association of Ghana Industries on Dec. 30  had expressed doubts about the end of load shedding.

"We always take these things with a bit of caution because, at this particular moment, industries are not in operation and, therefore, most of the power that they consume is being added to homes, so that makes it look good," the Association's CEO Seth Twum-Akwaboah said in a radio interview with Joy FM.

Certainly there is oil to fuel electric power generation currently, but there may not be any three months from now, Twum-Akwaboah warned.

But, in an interview with radio station Ultimate 106.9 FM, Grid company CEO William Amuna said that an additional 150 megawatts of electricity would be brought online within months.

Amuna also urged Ghanians to conserve energy.

The minister was obliged to resign after it became apparent that the power crisis would persist in 2016.

The load shedding has affected businesses and left hundreds jobless, as businesses which cannot run on their own generators were forced to cut production or shut down.

In his New Year message to Ghanaians, President John Mahama said: "Each and every member of this government who fall short of commitments have been and will continue to be asked to tender their resignation and be relieved of their responsibilities."