Towards Universal Energy Access in Ghana (Webinar)

9 July 2014

The Clean Energy Solutions Center, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation’s Energy Access Practitioner Network, hosted this webinar on work underway in Ghana around energy access using low carbon solutions and off-grid renewable technologies, with special emphasis on opportunities for business. This webinar was part of the broader work that the UN Foundation is undertaking on energy access within the UN and the World Bank’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative.

Ghana has been active in rural electrification since 1990, and its government’s commitment to energy access predates the Sustainable Energy for All initiative. The Government of Ghana has shown political leadership by being the first opt-in country to the Sustainable Energy for All initiative and plans to achieve 100% energy access by 2020. The speakers in this session shared their reflections on various priorities, approaches and ongoing efforts on electrification in the country, and they showcased how practitioners can engage in off-grid business opportunities. Finally, each of the presenters, representing government, private sector and civil society, present recommendations towards achieving universal energy access in Ghana. Panelists included:

  • Aneri Patel - Officer, Energy Access, United Nations Foundation
  • Wisdom Ahiataku-Togobo, Director, Renewable Energy, Ministry of Energy, Ghana
  • Paula Edze, Coordinator, SE4ALL Secretariat, Energy Commission
  • Ishmael Edjekumhene, Executive Director, KITE and Interim Director – Sustainable Energy Network Ghana
  • Kwasi Agyenim Boateng, Marketing Manager, Wilkins Engineering.


Aneri Patel Aneri Patel, Officer, Energy Access at the United Nations Foundation

Aneri helps manage the Energy Access Practitioner Network, a 1700+ member network of off-grid energy professionals around the globe, and she leads the Network’s Africa work. She has extensive on-the-ground experience in Bangladesh, India and Uganda providing clean energy solutions for the low-income market, including working with carbon finance for cookstove projects. A serial social entrepreneur, she started a business in south India that supplies essential technologies for remote villagers and is the founder of ENVenture, a non-profit that mentors young entrepreneurs in developing countries to launch similar businesses. She is a frequent public speaker and notably gave a well-received TEDx talk in Wahington, DC. She has a Masters in Environment and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA in International Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Wisdom Ahiataku-TogoboWisdom Ahiataku-Togobo, Director, Renewable Energy, Ministry of Energy

Mr. Ahiataku-Togobo started his career in the renewable energy sector in 1989 and has, over the years, developed his skills and capacity in the implementation of renewable energy programmes for rural energy access. He has very rich experience in the management and application of various renewable energy technologies for decentralised electrification in off-grid location for sustainable development. He is currently the Director of Renewable Energy at the Ministry of Energy Ghana. Prior to this, he was the Renewable Energy Expert for the World Bank – Ghana Energy Development and Access Project (GEDAP) from May 2008 to November 2010. He also served as the Project Coordinator for the UNDP/EC Household Energy Programme in Ghana from January 2006 to February 2008. Mr. Togobo is a visiting lecturer and has several publications, articles and reports on rural energy and sustainable development to his credit. He has a BSC degree in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Ghana, Legon in 1988; and an MSC degree in Renewable Energy from the University of Oldenburg, Germany in 1998. Mr. Togobo also has a postgraduate certificate in Investment Appraisal and Risk Management from Queens University, Kingston Canada in 2003.

Paula EdzePaula Edze, National Coordinator for Sustainable Energy for All, Ghana Energy Commission

Paula Edze joined the Ghana Energy Commission in September 2013 as the National Coordinator for Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) implementation in Ghana. As the National Coordinator, Paula works closely with key implementing government institutions such as the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, the Energy Commission, and other partners from the civil society, private sector, development and donor community to execute activities outlined in Ghana’s SE4ALL Country Action Plan. She prepares the annual action plan, budget, and implementation strategies, and she monitors and reports on progress being made by key implementing partners and serves as a liaison between implementing partners where needed. Paula also develops project proposals to raise funds for SE4ALL programmes. Prior to joining the Energy Commission, Paula worked with KITE, a Ghanaian NGO for four years as Projects Officer. She holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Monitoring and Analysis from Aberystwyth University in Wales and a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Management from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana.

Ishmael EdjekumheneIshmael Edjekumhene, Executive Director, KITE and Interim Director – Sustainable Energy Network Ghana

Mr. Ishmael Edjekumhene is the Director of KITE. He joined KITE in 1999 as a Projects Officer. Mr. Edjekumhene has been involved in the development and/or execution of several development-related research projects, thereby contributing substantially to the body of knowledge being generated within KITE. He has also been managing the KITE office in Kumasi has been a member of the KITE Management Committee since 2003. He has thus been involved in the decision-making processes of the organization and the direct supervision of the day-to-day operations of project and non-project staff. Mr. Edjekumhene has also represented KITE at several international, regional and national fora/conferences, notably the 2008 Washington Renewable Energy Conference and the 6th Conference of Parties (COP 6) in Hague, the Netherlands in 2000. Mr. Edjekumhene’s research interests include ensuring the provision and preservation of energy public benefits such as access, energy efficiency, renewable energy and environmental protection in a reformed energy sector, mainstreaming of energy in national development programmes and climate change with emphasis on the monetization of carbon. He holds a Masters degree in Economics (Public Policy) from the University of Hull, UK and Bachelors degree in Land Economy (with first class honours) from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana.

Kwasi Agyenim Boateng, Marketing Manager, Wilkins Engineering Limited

Kwasi Agyenim Boateng is the Marketing Manager for Wilkins Engineering Limited, a private renewable energy company based in Accra, Ghana. He has overseen the implementation of various projects, including the installation of solar systems for Community Health Posts in rural Ghana over the past eight years. The company was established in 1993 and employs over 500 people with an annual turnover of GHS10 million. The company focuses on extending electricity to rural Ghana through dealerships. Kwasi has overseen the sales and installation of over 50,000 solar home systems, pico systems and lanterns in rural Ghana.